President Trump, in the midst of his national emergency declaration and continuing funding over his proposed wall, sent a tweet Wednesday in which he posted a time-lapse video of what looked like a border wall under construction.
Along with this, Trump posted on Twitter Wednesday that “we have just built this powerful Wall in New Mexico. Completed on January 30, 2019 – 47 days ahead of schedule! Many miles more now under construction!”
On Thursday, he quoted the previous tweet and quoted in all caps, “THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW!”
It’s part of a shift in Trump’s messaging, from talk of building the wall to “finishing” the wall.
The problem was, according to a report, the footage was filmed last year.
According to Task And Purpose, a website that covers news important to the military and national security, the footage posted by Trump was actually shot last year.
The footage was not only shot in September of 2018, but the footage was not part of “new wall construction” at all, the site said. The Army Corps of Engineers told Task and Purpose that the project from the video was, in fact, a “replacement project” of a previous barrier that has nothing to do with the current wall debate. The project was initiated by an executive order from Trump in the early days of his presidency.
“I’ve been in this division for 12 years and we were doing border wall replacement work back then,” Mike Peterson, a spokesman for the Army Corps of Engineers’ South Pacific Division, told the website. Trump was correct, however, that the project was concluded ahead of schedule.
The New York Times reported last month that, contrary to various statements by Trump, no new wall construction has taken place since Trump became president.
"It's a replacement project," Mike Peterson, public affairs director for the Army Corps of Engineers' South Pacific Division, told Task & Purpose. "I've been in this division for 12 years and we were doing border wall replacement work back then.”https://t.co/K2L53OGPDW— Paul Szoldra (@PaulSzoldra) February 21, 2019
After the president’s fight with Congress over wall funding resulted in a weeks-long government shutdown, the president agreed to re-open the government without appropriated wall funding, and as a result, declared the state of emergency.
The president also admitted at the time that the emergency declaration was likely to result in a lengthy court challenge, and indeed, 16 state attorneys general moved to sue Trump over the declaration, per CNBC. The president even said that he “didn’t need” to declare the emergency, a statement which may eventually be used against the president in court.
Trump first proposed the wall during the 2016 presidential campaign, frequently declaring to applause at campaign rallies that he would get Mexico to pay for it. The Mexican government has steadfastly refused to do so, and now Congress has as well.