On Tuesday, President Trump traveled to San Diego to inspect border wall prototypes. While there, he offered a word salad about what sort of wall he’d like to spend tens of billions of taxpayer dollars building.
“The larger it is, the better it is because it’s very hard to get over the top,” Trump said. “It’s really deterrent from getting over the top. Who would think, who would think. But getting over the top is easy. These are like professional mountain climbers.”
Even though Trump thinks existing walls are “easy” to climb over, in the next breath, he said he only wants to build ones that are impossible to surmount.
“They can’t climb some of these walls — some of them they can and those are the walls we aren’t using,” Trump said. “And even the walls they have now they are not holding up. And they’re small, but they’re really great compared to what they had before. Stopped about 95 percent.”
It’s hard to imagine what sort of wall would be impossible for professional climbers to surmount. Fox & Friends recently touted one proposal that excited hosts because it would feature “spikes” on top.
During his trip to the border, Trump claimed “a part of San Diego needs a wall” in order to reestablish “law and order.” But his actions indicate he views it mainly as a bargaining chip.
Last month, the Trump administration criticized a number of immigration reform proposals in Congress — nearly all of which included funding for the border wall and border security. The Trump administration seemed stuck on the idea of banning legal immigration as well — in the form of family-based migration and the diversity lottery — and all the bills put forward for a vote in the Senate failed.
But the mere fact that Trump is asking American taxpayers to pay for any part of the wall represents a violation of one of his signature campaign promises, which was that Mexico would pay for it.
These days, Trump seems confused about whether he believes Mexico will pay or not. During his campaign rally in Pennsylvania last Saturday, Trump claimed that he canceled a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto after Nieto asked him to “make a statement that Mexico will not pay for the wall.” But Trump then immediately pivoted to attacking Democrats for resisting his efforts to force American taxpayer to pay for all of it.
“We will build a wall, we have to build a wall. We have to build a wall, and the Democrats are holding it back,” Trump said. “You know, we had a deal — $25 billion. And by the way, if I get $25 billion for the wall, you’re going to have a lot of change.”
Trump’s trip to inspect wall prototypes on Tuesday was his first to the country’s most populous state as president. He concluded his remarks by unloading on Gov. Jerry Brown (D), who recently responded to a lawsuit Trump’s DOJ filed against the state’s immigration laws by saying, “The Trump administration is full of liars.”
“Gov. Brown has done a very poor job,” Trump said. “They have some of the highest taxes. The place is totally out of control. You have sanctuary cities where have you criminals living in the sanctuary cities.”