Every time Donald Trump talks about his plans for the U.S. border with Mexico, he talks about building a “Great Wall.” Not a fence, but a wall “to keep illegals out.” He also floated the idea of having a “big beautiful door” so that immigrants can legally enter the country — unless they’re Muslim refugees, of course.
And that thing about making Mexico pay for it? Not gonna happen. It turns out, neither will the concept of a wall with a “big beautiful door.” During another bizarre press briefing on Tuesday, Sean Spicer, along with Homeland Security secretary John Kelly and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director Mike Mulvaney revealed images of what the Trump White House has in mind for the border wall. They also seemed to confirm that funding for the wall is included in the budget deal the White House reached with congressional Democrats.
It turns out, 1) the wall isn’t a wall, it’s a levee, 2) there isn’t any funding for the wall in the budget agreement, and 3) the White House lied the press, including Breitbart. The hat-trick of Trump nincompoopery.
Even though Spicer refused to explicitly describe the levees in the photos as a “wall” or “walls,” he later tweeted the same photos:
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) May 2, 2017
So, these are examples of the very, very terrific wall — the Great Wall — that Trump has been ceaselessly promising to build? Nothing a decent ladder from Home Depot can’t surmount.
However, Spicer never actually said these photos were examples of the wall… until later when Spicer’s deputy, Lindsay Walker, called Breitbart and lied.
Spicer directed one of his deputies, Lindsay Walters, to call Breitbart News and pitch the photos in Spicer’s Tweet as a “border wall.”
Noting that Spicer directed her to call Breitbart News and argue that the photos represent a “border wall,” Walters pushed back when Breitbart News argued that a see-through fence and a levee wall do not constitute a “border wall” that fulfills President Trump’s campaign promise.
Allow me to emphasize again: this is Breitbart reporting. Not the so-called “fake news.” Nevertheless, the White House definitely tried to pass off levees as the border wall, and they thought Breitbart would go along with the ruse. Clearly Spicer’s office miscalculated. Like always.
Technically, levee walls—or flood walls—are common parts of levees designed to deal with flooding. The Rio Grande river constitutes much of the U.S.-Mexico border, so levees—and “levee walls” as Walters argued—are a part of that. They are not meant for border security, but rather for flood management.
Well, I suppose the levees will keep out all that illegal Mexican water. But if Trump thinks levee walls will suffice as a cheap substitute for his Great Wall, he might as well give up. Making matters worse, the White House lied about the wall to its most loyal publication outside of Fox Nation. Not only did the White House lie about the content of the photos, but Spicer also lied when he said the omnibus spending bill pays for the wall. Adding insult to injury, we also know that the spending bill places restrictions on how Trump can deal with border security, and the funding for security in the bill is half of what the White House requested.
Fail, fail, fail.
Trump led his disciples to believe he’d build a “Great Wall.” Who can blame them if they thought it might actually be a, you know, great wall? But when faced with actually accomplishing such a feat with a supportive Republican Congress, they can’t even talk about the wall without choking — and, bonus, they’re alienating their biggest fans.
If this is how flagrantly the White House is lying to loyalists, imagine the bullshit they’re foisting on the rest of us.