President Donald Trump's pet project—his border wall turned bollard fence—received almost immediate criticism when candidate Trump proposed it during the 2016 presidential campaign.
However the associated chants—"Build the wall" and "Finish the wall"—remain popular at Trump MAGA rallies.
Therefore one way or another the President is determined to get his wall.
But in addition to criticism of the overall effectiveness and the cost of an ineffective border security solution, people also found fault with the President declaring a national emergency so he could raid Defense Department coffers to pay for his wall.
Now there are questions being raised about the contract bid and award process after a $400 million DoD contract was given to a GOP donor.
In most cases, government contracts are required to go through a competitive bid process. While it is a fallacy that the lowest bid always wins, choosing a higher bid requires a number of conditions be met.
And cronyism or any conflict of interest or favoritism is strictly verboten.
Fisher Sand and Gravel Company of North Dakota will build new fencing in Arizona. Reports state Trump repeatedly pushed for the company to be given the contract—ignoring concerns from engineering officials.
The similarities to the award of the contract for electrical work in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria—also handed to a friend of Donald despite concerns over their ability to complete the job—were not lost on people.
As far back as 2018, people were sounding the alarm about Trump's hand picked contractors.
According to a report by The Washington Post, Trump pressured the Army Corps of Engineers to give a DoD funded border wall contract to his friend Tommy Fisher. The CEO made appearances on Fox News to claim he could build the wall for a fraction of the estimated cost.
But Fisher's cost cutting measures have gotten the company in hot water before.
Fisher Sand and Gravel paid more than $1 million in fines for environmental and tax violations. Its former co-owner pleaded guilty to tax fraud resulting in a prison sentence.
Fisher has also been accused of not paying contractors.
People are calling out the perceived cronyism.
In addition to campaigning on building a wall, Trump also promised to "drain the swamp."
So far he's 0 for 2.
The Sinking in the Swamp: How Trump's Minions and Misfits Poisoned Washington can be preordered here.