President Trump recently received some the harshest criticism from his base he’s gotten since his presidency began. But the right-wing furor isn’t over the Russia collusion scandal, or the Stormy Daniels scandal, or the massive corruption and misuse of taxpayer funds by his cabinet secretaries, it’s over his signature campaign issue and the spending bill that didn’t quite fund it.
Since he signed a recent $1.3 billion spending bill with a relatively paltry $1.6 billion (with plenty of strings attached) allocated towards funding his signature border wall between the United States and Mexico, Trump’s been getting blowback from some of his most fervent supporters:
CONGRATULATIONS, PRESIDENT SCHUMER!
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) March 23, 2018
He’s even been trying to get the military to fund the $25 billion wall, which, uh, isn’t legal and also isn’t convincing those who’ve lost faith:
If he wanted to build a wall, he’d have built the wall. Suddenly noticing that he already has the power to do it is just a new way to keep scamming his voters. https://t.co/NrNLUsAoTS
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) March 25, 2018
Desperate to show some kind of progress on one of his most heavily chanted policy proposals, Trump tweeted out a series of photos which make it look like SOME kind of fencing or wall-like structures are being built:
Great briefing this afternoon on the start of our Southern Border WALL! pic.twitter.com/pmCNoxxlkH
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018
There’s just one problem: several of the photos were taken a while ago and depict the replacement of existing border barriers:
These pictures are from a project, started in 2009 under then-President Obama, to replace parts of the *existing* wall on the southern border. It’s not new construction. https://t.co/C7xe7Oo2Vg https://t.co/pM8OnOLkbs
— Liam Martin (@LiamWBZ) March 28, 2018
As Buzzfeed News reports, the photos were from a barrier replacement project that started in 2009 under the Obama administration:
A #BorderWall replacement project has begun near downtown #Calexico within #USBP #ElCentro Sector. 2.25 miles of old landing mat wall will be replaced with 30-foot high bollard style. Read: https://t.co/owC57XK2Dh pic.twitter.com/TAFqh3HPjv
— CBP San Diego (@CBPSanDiego) February 23, 2018
Trump’s wall hasn’t begun construction yet, and most of the fraction of the cost he got in the most-recent spending bill is going toward replacing existing barriers rather than constructing new ones. While he recently made a show of visiting the prototype models for his wall, the omnibus spending bill he signed prevents any construction using them this year. Because this project is one that’s personal for Trump and important to his allies in the right-wing media, you can expect a lot more smoke and mirrors trying to show progress on it.
Ironically, if he had signed the bipartisan deal he initially agreed to that included protection for DACA recipients, he’d have gotten a lot more funding for his wall. Unfortunately, Trump can’t take “yes” for an answer and the hardline supporters who are now turning their backs on him are the ones standing in the way.
h/t: Buzzfeed News