Thursday, January 3, 2019

President Trump’s error-filled holiday tweets on the border wall


Need to stop Drugs, Human Trafficking,Gang Members & Criminals from coming into our Country.”
—President Trump, in a tweet, Dec. 27, 2018
Over the holidays during the government shutdown, President Trump repeatedly posted on Twitter a variety of rationales for why a wall along the southern border is necessary. He also spoke to reporters before and after his brief post-Christmas visit to Iraq. We’ve covered many of these issues in previous fact checks, but here’s a quick overview for readers who might have missed — or tried to ignore — the tweets between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
“The Democrats don’t want it, because they don’t want open borders, and yet every one of those Democrats approved the wall, or a fence, or very, very substantial barriers. Every single one. I don’t think there’s one — but let’s assume, let’s use the word, almost everyone approved a wall, or a fence, or exactly what we’re talking about, as little as three years ago.”
—remarks after Christmas video conference with troops, Dec. 25
Sen. Charles E. Schumer and many Democrats (though not Rep. Nancy Pelosi) voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was signed by President George W. Bush and authorized building a fence along nearly 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. But the fence they voted for is not as substantial as the wall Trump is proposing. Trump has called the 2006 fence “such a nothing wall.”
To Trump, opposing the wall is tantamount to not wanting any border security at all. But Democrats have offered support for $1.3 billion in security enhancements. That doesn’t include funding for Trump’s wall, but it includes 65 miles of pedestrian fencing along the Southeast Texas border with Mexico, similar to what already exists. (Note: an earlier version of this article incorrectly said Pelosi voted for the law. It passed 283-138 in the House, with 64 Democrat votes, and 80-19 in the Senate, with 26 Democrat votes.)
“We’re going to have safety. We need safety for our country, even from this standpoint. We have terrorists coming in through the southern border. We have the terrorists also coming in, fellas, through the southern border.”
—remarks in Iraq, Dec. 26
Trump is creating an association between the southern border and terrorists when there is none. As we’ve previously reported, almost all terrorism suspects are apprehended at airports. Plus, a recent report from the State Department showed there was little credible information suggesting terrorists were trying to enter the United States through the southern border.
“This isn’t about the Wall, everybody knows that a Wall will work perfectly (In Israel the Wall works 99.9%). This is only about the Dems not letting Donald Trump & the Republicans have a win. They may have the 10 Senate votes, but we have the issue, Border Security. 2020!”
—Tweet, Dec. 27
Only one-tenth (33 miles) of the Israeli barrier with Palestinian territories is an eight-meter (26-foot) concrete wall. The other 90 percent is a two-meter (6.5-foot) electronic fence. As for 99.9 percent, those numbers are a fantasy. The New York Times in 2016 reported on a vast smuggling industry that easily evades the Israeli security fence and wall that divides Israeli and Palestinian areas.
“Have the Democrats finally realized that we desperately need Border Security and a Wall on the Southern Border. Need to stop Drugs, Human Trafficking,Gang Members & Criminals from coming into our Country.”
—Tweet, Dec. 27
Most drugs come into the United States across the southern border with Mexico. But a wall would not limit this illegal trade, as much of it travels through legal borders or under tunnels unaffected by any possible physical barrier. Even if the wall could curb illicit drug trafficking, it would have a minimal impact on the death toll from drug abuse. Prescription drug overdoses claim more lives than cocaine and heroin overdoses combined. (This is a Bottomless Pinocchio claim.)
“Do the Dems realize that most of the people not getting paid are Democrats?”
—Tweet, Dec. 27
There is no evidence that most of the government workers affected by the government shutdown are Democrats. Trump at one point also claimed, without evidence, that most of the workers affected by the shutdown supported his stance.
“The reason the DACA for Wall deal didn’t get done was that a ridiculous court decision from the 9th Circuit allowed DACA to remain, thereby setting up a Supreme Court case. After ruling, Dems dropped deal - and that’s where we are today, Democrat obstruction of the needed Wall.”
—Tweet, Dec. 27
The ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was in November 2018. Pelosi and Schumer announced they had a deal with Trump on extending DACA in September 2017 that did not include wall funding, but then Trump later backed out of it after pressure from his right flank and he began to push for broad changes to the immigration system in exchange for allowing DACA-eligible people to remain. No judge had ruled to uphold DACA in the interim.

A bipartisan coalition in the Senate last year rejected, by a vote of 60 to 39, a measure backed by Trump that would have all but ended the family-based migration system that has been in place for decades. A separate bipartisan measure that would have legalized the DACA “dreamers” and allocated $25 billion for a wall on the border with Mexico fell six votes short of the 60 needed to proceed to a final vote. But it earned far more votes than Trump’s preferred approach and might have succeeded if it had White House backing.


  1. The President is really good at public relations. He puts out stuff that is a little off. The opposition media latches onto it and has a feeding frenzy. He keeps himself and his agenda in the middle of the news cycle.

    This is how he got elected. He kept the spotlight on himself, and himself alone.

    Out of consideration for everyone's feelings, I will now refrain from my usual triple-chant of the President's last name.

  2. to be a clown and get attention and ridicule is not the purpose of a leader or president of us

    let him go back to hosting TV shows

  3. I think that's the key point. Since John Kennedy, who used television to gain the Presidency, politics has become a cartoon. Ronald Reagan and William Clinton utilized television to wield power. Donald Trump has simply extended the technique into a 24/7 program, using Twitter to stir up the party when things start getting dull.

    There is no going back, short of changing the Constitution so that we get two Presidents, the way manny cities and towns in America now have an elected mayor, and a bureacratic unelected city manager who wields a lot power and who has actual experience and training to deal with things like the police, fire department, public works, etc.

  4. is Mexico paying for trump's wall?????!

  5. No, but he's making them sweat thinking they might have to. Maybe it'll motivate them to dial back their lack of sufficient effort to stem illegal emigration.


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