It looks like the ball is finally rolling on President Trump's long promised border wall with Mexico now that Congress has given him some of his requested funding — but is it really? Following various claims that progress is being made on the barrier, Trump tweeted a video of the wall being built, but it's apparently not what it seems. The video is reportedly months old, like 2018-ish. Oof. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for further comment on or clarification of Trump's post, but did not hear back by the time of publication.
On Wednesday, Feb. 20, Trump tweeted that the wall was "just built," coupling the post with a time-lapse video showing construction workers and vehicles building the barrier. He added that the section of wall had been completed on Jan. 30, about 47 days ahead of schedule, and that "many miles more [are] now under construction!" He repeated that claim in a follow-up post shared on Feb. 21, writing, "THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW!" However, the video he used is reportedly from September 2018 and show repairs being made to the wall — not the construction of a new wall, as he seemed to imply. "It's a replacement project," a spokesperson for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told military-focused news website Task & Purpose. The representative added that the repairs were being done on a barrier that had been in place before Trump even took office. Awkward.
In an emailed statement to Elite Daily on Feb. 22, Evan J. Dyson, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public affairs specialist, confirms that the video was originally filmed in September 2018, and was from a 20-mile stretch of Bollard-style wall. The video shows "work on the Santa Teresa 20-mile border wall project, specifically the installation of Bollard-style wall," he says. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which produced the video, provided oversight and contracting for the work.
Task & Purpose reports that Trump at least got one thing right: Construction started in April of 2018 and ended on January 30, 2019, which was well ahead of the schedule anticipated by the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) when construction first began. However, a New York Times analysis from Jan. 5 says that as of January 2019, not a single new barrier has been built at the United States southern border. The White House did not immediately return Elite Daily's request for comment on the status of construction of the wall.
That may change, though. If you somehow haven't heard, on Feb. 15 Congress agreed to give Trump $1.375 billion for the border wall after some weeks-long back-and-forth. The funds are a bit short of his request of $5.7 billion, but it'll at least get him 55 miles of new fencing, so, I mean, it's something. Besides, the president declared a national emergency on Feb. 15, which will allow him to pull about $6 billion more, for a total of about $8 billion, from the Department of Defense and other sources to build 234 miles of a concrete or steel barrier that he's asked for.
On the other hand, Democrats are already fighting to terminate the declaration, which could put Trump back at square one. After Trump announced the declaration, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) released a statement calling the move "unlawful" and a power grab, and vowed to do something about it. Elite Daily reached out to the White House for further comment on Pelosi and Schumer's remarks, but did not immediately hear back. They weren't kidding. On Feb. 22, House Democrats introduced a resolution to kill the declaration. While it will likely pass in the House, it's unclear if it will pass in the Republican-controlled Senate, per USA Today.
Maybe that's why Trump has been so cool about this and is carrying on about the construction of the wall. In that case, get ready to see a lot more tweets from him on the subject.