Donald Trump has bragged for months about how much work he’s gotten done in building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, but now Trump’s own border agency is saying that isn’t true at all.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, the head of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency confirmed that there has not yet been any new wall built, and that any construction that took place from the time Trump took office was simply fixing existing walls or replacing outdated sections.
“The first new wall project, where no barrier currently exists, is anticipated to start in April,” CBP spokesman Roger Maier said in an email to the newspaper.
As the report noted, Trump has frequently referred to border wall renovations and replacements as new construction, especially during the lead up to the 2018 midterm elections, when he frequently took to Twitter to brag about “newly built walls” to address the caravans of Central American immigrants heading to the U.S. border to seek asylum.
Donald Trump has frequently been called out for his false statements regarding border wall construction. In February, MSNBC pointed out that Trump’s claim he was “building a lot of wall” was false. The report noted that Trump had shifted his 2020 campaign slogan away from “Build The Wall” to now say “Finish The Wall,” which critics noted perpetuated the false claim that there was new wall being built.
Though Donald Trump did not make the wall a top priority for much of the first two years of his presidency, he gave increasing attention to it as the 2018 midterm elections approached, leading critics to suggest that it was nothing more than a campaign gimmick. In the weeks before the election, Trump sent U.S. troops to the border to assist Border Patrol in preparing for the influx of migrants.
And after the election, just weeks before Democrats were set to take control of Congress, Trump rejected a bipartisan funding measure and forced a government shutdown over his demand for a border wall. It ended up being the longest shutdown in American history, which came to an end with no new commitments for border wall funding from Democrats and a majority of Americans blaming Trump and Republicans.
The Senate votes to terminate Trump's national emergency in a stunning rebuke, and the president will have to use his first veto to get his border wall https://t.co/ctKqLfUIZM
— Frances Clarke (@FrancesClarke14) March 15, 2019
Donald Trump has pressed on in the demand for border wall funding, and has now declared a state of emergency which would allow him to re-allocate some military funding to start construction of the border wall.