Donald Trump and his surrogates are working hard to redefine his promise to “build a wall” and make Mexico pay for it, but Trump himself has been very clear that only a wall, not a fence, will fulfill that promise.
As Trump finds himself staring at the prospect of backing down from his threat to shut down the government over the border wall he’s spent years promising, he and his White House have, in various ways, sought to downplay the actual “wall” aspect of the wall.
For example, Kellyanne Conway has taken to claiming that it’s “ridiculous” to say that the funding battle is “about a wall,” and both she and Trump have taken to claiming that a wall and a fence are the same thing.
At a press conference in November, Trump referenced Democratic support for the “Secure Fence Act of 2006,” saying that “Many of the people that we’ll be dealing with, you know, in 2006, they approved the wall, essentially. It was a very strong border fence, but it was the same thing.”
Conway and others have tried to use the same talking point, but Trump has previously been very clear that not only aren’t a “fence” and a “wall” the same thing, but that there is a “BIG difference” between the two.
At a press conference in January 2017, CBS News national correspondent Major Garrett asked Trump about a “border fence,” and also referenced the still-broken promise that Mexico would pay for it. Trump scolded Garrett, and accused him of “misreporting.”
“On the fence, it’s not a fence, it’s a wall,” Trump said. “You just misreported it. We’re going to build a wall.”
Trump similarly corrected then-presidential rival Jeb Bush during the primary campaign, noting the “BIG difference” between a fence and a wall:
Jeb Bush just talked about my border proposal to build a “fence.” It’s not a fence, Jeb, it’s a WALL, and there’s a BIG difference!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2015
The fact is that the shutdown showdown that Trump’s own allies predict he will lose is most definitely about a wall, and not the same thing as a fence. And Mexico is still not going to pay for it.
Watch the clip above, via ABC News.
[image via screengrab]
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