A pillar of President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign was erecting a wall at the southern border as a means to curtail illegal immigration. As Trump vilified immigrants throughout his campaign, supporters at his rallies began to bellow one succinct phrase: “Build that wall.”
Flash forward to the now-President’s rally in El Paso, Texas last night, and his supporters were invoking those three words again, possibly with less patience than in 2016. As they chanted, the President stopped to correct them, informing them of a new slogan.
President Trump responds to crowd interruptions: “Where do these people come from? They go back home to mommy. They get punished when they get home."
The audience then begins chanting “build that wall!” pic.twitter.com/nzmonE1nZQ
— Kyle Morris (@RealKyleMorris) February 12, 2019
The President stopped the chants of “build that wall” to say:
“Now, you really mean ‘finish that wall,’ cause we’ve built a lot of it.”
Despite the inaccuracy, it looks like this slogan will play a big part in the President’s messaging.
The president's big theme is to "FINISH THE WALL" he's received 0 dollars to build. The Republican Party is off the rails. pic.twitter.com/yCWQXNIhaB
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) February 12, 2019
But is it true? The answer won’t surprise you.
In 2017, the first year of his Presidency, Trump was allocated approximately $1.6 billion for border security, however the funding was designated to fortify existing fencing, not to expand the wall as Trump has constantly implied.
Yamiche Alcindor of PBS News called out Trump earlier in the day for making a similar claim.
Pres Trump, while meeting with more than a dozen U.S. sheriffs, repeats again something that is clearly not true: "We’re actually building a big, big portion of the wall today."
There is no new wall being built, period. Anything that is being done is repairs on existing fencing.
— Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) February 11, 2019
People are calling him out.
TRUMP: I want the banner to say FINISH THE WALL!
BANNER DESIGNER: but… they haven’t started construction on the wall yet.
— DogsHateBoots (@DogsHateBoots) February 12, 2019
"Finish the Wall" is the "We have defeated ISIS" of "Mexico Will Pay."
— BrooklynDad_Defiant! (@mmpadellan) February 12, 2019
Producing banners that say “Finish the Wall” for a wall that hasn’t been started is sad, tired and desperate.
— Steven Beschloss (@StevenBeschloss) February 12, 2019
His supporters attending the rally, however, didn’t seem to care.