Twenty days ago, President Donald Trump shut down the federal government because Congress refused to give him billions of dollars for a border wall with Mexico, which Trump without evidence has insisted would prevent migrants from entering the United States illegally.
But Trump was not always such a big believer in walls.
On Wednesday, The Daily Show unearthed a fifteen-year-old clip of Donald Trump giving a commencement address at Wagner College on Staten Island in New York in which Trump encouraged college graduates to conquer metaphorical walls that stand in the way of success.
“I’ll tell you, to me, the second-most important thing after love what you do is never, ever give up,” Trump said.
“Don’t give up. Don’t allow it to happen. If there’s a concrete wall in front of you, go through it. Go over it. Go around it. But get to the other side of that wall.”
The Daily Show host Trevor Noah, himself an immigrant, scolded Trump for his flagrant hypocrisy.
“If there’s one thing we know, it’s that nothing will stop immigrants from trying to come to America," Noah said. “This is a place that people dream of coming to, because people trying to make a better, safer life for their families will do anything to achieve that dream. And I know Donald Trump understands this — because of this video we found from 15 years ago.”
Amazing. There really is a tweet for everything Trump says or does.
Now that Trump is president, his internalized, unsubstantiated rhetoric and obstinance over a border wall are testing the limits of our country's institutions.
The impasse between Trump and Congressional Democrats reached a boiling point on Wednesday as Trump stormed out of a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Trump has threatened to invoke emergency powers as a means to keep his campaign promise of a wall along the southern border, however, the constitutionality of such action is murky.
Trump received an honorary human letters doctorate from Wagner College in 2004, one of five honorary degrees bestowed upon him between 1987 and 2017. One of them from Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, Scotland was revoked following Trump's attempt to have Muslims banned from entering the United States.
Subsequent efforts to have Trump's other honorary degrees rescinded have not been successful.
None of this is normal.