Trump’s misleading “border wall” narrative | The Fact Checker


-Building a border wall
has been President Trump’s central promise to voters since the beginning
of his 2016 campaign. Three years later, the promised
wall has not been built. But he’s still talking about it. -I will build a great, great
wall on our southern border. We need 1,000 miles. And we have all
of the materials. We can do that so beautifully. And this is going to be
a serious wall. This is going to be a high wall. We think we’re gonna have
close to 500 miles of wall. It’ll be over 400 miles. We think we can get it
close to 500 miles. -The flow of videos and photos
that the President tweets of the wall’s progress, and what’s actually going on at
the border, are very different. -For nearly three years,
we’ve heard consistently hundreds of times
from President Trump, “We’re building the wall,
we’re building the wall, we’re building the wall.” The definition of what
he considers the wall has changed quite significantly. -During the 2016 election,
Trump pledged to build a wall along the US-Mexico border which is almost
2,000 miles long. Then he said the wall would be
1,000 miles and cover half of the border
with natural barriers taking care of the rest. That estimate dropped to
500 miles by the 2020 election. In reality,
by September of 2019, funding had only been approved for roughly 260 miles
of replacement barriers. And as of September 19th, 2019, approximately 66 miles
of old fencing has been replaced
with a new barrier. -The claim has evolved
and shifted. If you’re trying to test it
for truth, you know,
it doesn’t really add up. -Trump said he would build
the wall out of concrete, and then he switched to steel. So far, the new barrier has been
built with steel bollards, which are hollow steel beams
filled with concrete and rebar. -It’s not really a wall.
It’s a fence. It’s a very sturdy and imposing
fence, but it’s a fence. And so, you know, the president
keeps saying the same thing as if he’s fulfilled
a campaign promise. A lot of his supporters may find that what he’s building
is acceptable to them, but it’s still not
what he promised. -But Trump’s rhetoric
on the wall has stayed the same, especially on Twitter. -His use of Twitter
is extremely effective. He is not only able to go over
the news media to be able to communicate
directly to the country, but he uses it
very strategically. I mean, he uses it to dominate
the conversation, he uses it to, in fact,
set the conversation. -For months,
he’s tweeted misrepresentations of unaltered video, changing the details
around the video to make it seem like
it’s happening now. Trump posted this video twice in the summer of 2019
with the caption, “The Wall is going up very fast
despite total Obstruction by the Democrats
in Congress, and elsewhere!” The video has been viewed
more than 5 million times. In February of 2019,
Trump tweeted out a video he claimed showed
the border wall under construction right now. But that’s not
what the video shows. The US Army Corps of Engineers
produced the video and confirmed that it was, in fact,
filmed in September of 2018, and it shows progress
on a border project in Santa Teresa, New Mexico, using funds
appropriated in 2017. In January of 2019, Trump tweeted a photo
of what he claimed was a section of the new wall,
quote, “Just completed.” But the photo was time stamped
for three months earlier. -In our database of Trump’s
false and misleading claims, the “building the wall claim,”
it was the most repeated claim out of all 12,000
that we had tallied. He’s just reinforcing this idea that he’s fulfilled
this campaign promise. -Trump uses the idea of the wall
to mobilize his base, often tweeting about it
during major political moments, like the 2018 midterm elections,
the 2019 government shutdown, and the peak of
the Mueller investigation. But it’s not just the wall. Trump has broadly misrepresented the effectiveness
of his immigration strategy. He tweeted a Mexican government
chart on US migration numbers that appeared to be design
to flatter him, but his own government’s data
show nearly 1 million migrants were arrested along the Mexico
border in 2019 fiscal year. That ended in September 30th,
marking a 12-year high. Along with posts saying
misleading numbers and imagery, Trump regularly throws out
extravagant plans that don’t seem to have
any basis in reality. Trump reportedly wanted to build
an alligator-filled moat and arm the US forces
with bayonets. He also allegedly requested
the wall be painted black with spikes
to intimidate migrants, making it hot
and harder to climb. -It’s extremely hot,
the wall is — You won’t be able to touch it. You can fry an egg on that wall. -He claims he hired professional
climbers to test it out. -We have, I guess you could say,
world-class mountain climbers. We got climbers.
We had 20 mountain climbers. We gave them different
prototypes of walls, and this was the one
that was hardest to climb. -But no one can find
these climbers. It’s a small, tight-knit world, so you would figure that,
you know, someone would know. So, it seems like it’s made up.
-Trump is reinforcing a favorable
but inaccurate narrative. He misrepresents
the wall’s progress by constantly
posting images of it, harnessing his reach
and power on Twitter. -The wall is an important part
of Trump’s politics and what he sold
to the American people, and so it’s always gonna figure
very prominently in his public remarks
or when he’s tweeting. -Trump’s campaign promise
to build the wall will likely be a focal point
of the 2020 election. And if history
is any indication, he’ll tweet about it. If there are statements
you heard politicians say that don’t quite make sense
at rallies, state fairs, in that one friend’s feed,
let us know. Send us a note or a tweet
with what they said and your question. We’ll check it out. You can follow along
by subscribing to the Post’s YouTube channel and watching more “Fact Checker”
videos here.

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Reader Comments

  1. Vera Schmidt

    You're looking for the wall in the wrong place
    It's not on the border between Mexico and the USA
    It's on the border of Colorado and NEW Mexico! 😅🤣😂

  2. Rb

    Here's the thing, these idiots have no clue how to actually build a case, let alone a wall. After all, according to lefitsts, walls don't work. So why do they live in gated communities and exactly how do they keep their windows in place.

  3. Jeffrey N

    Ah, the Washington Post. The newspaper that rather show remorse to Baghdadi instead of congratulating their president. The cat is out of the bag for a long time already guys. Your meddling in the 2021election is nothing more than an annoying useless headache.

  4. Chris Ingle

    So progress is being made on the promise he made of building a wall. …Glass half full you bunch of whiny liberals. How about this…instead of the left constantly chasing after whatever narrative tail (tale) they want to try to overturn a duly elected president, how about actually doing some work and passing some bills. Get to f'ing work you worthless bunch of Demorats (not misspelled) and stop blocking the progress of a President and administration trying to increase the security of the United States!!!!

  5. Joe Boss

    WTF are all of you murderous, civilization destroying MFers afraid of? Trump's racist, cowardly, xenophobic wall is a money wasting fiasco meant to appease you borderline psychotic ethno nationalist.

  6. Faurocious

    Definition of wall includes a barrier you liberal morons. And with concrete inside the steel makes it an actual concrete barrier idiots. The only reason the delay is because of Democrat delays. We the base know he is fulfilling his promise despite you worthless Democrats who deserve to be executed for treason.

  7. Daniel Myers

    There is a lot of existing wall, and there has been a lot of wall built. YouTube just deleted an account of a man who lives on the border and went around showing the construction of new bollard wall. I have a feeling the leftist media is prepping to subvert the 2020 election by peddling even more misinformation and hiding reality from the public. Don’t believe it, folks…

  8. Barbara Galbreth

    WA PO, obviously supports the expansion of the southern drug cartels. They want to drive the poor peasants north, allow the crippling of our youth with addiction, and finally steal all the resources from South America. Don't these people understand the US is going to rape their entire continent if they don't stand up as North now must?

  9. Dwayne White

    I'm a Democrat in favor of "The Wall" but more in favor of HEAVY fines on employers who hire illegal workers. In addition, any one caught in the US illegally should automatically be disqualified from immigrating legally; this would put and end to this whole debacle….. Why is this not happening already? IMO Democrats need more boots on the ground as electorates, and Republicans, many of them business owners, need more cheap labor… Crazy U.S.A Think about it: If the Republicans really wanted illegal immigration reform they could have had it when they controlled both the House and the Senate, veto-proof; only 4 years ago or so.

  10. black n white

    Can someone who lives close to the border please tell me if there is any new walls getting built?
    I live in Wisconsin and would rather take your word for it rather than just anyone. Oh wait, you could be just anyone. I guess I'll just have to wait and see it for myself. Can't believe anyone these days. Jk.. tell me

  11. Richard Montgomery

    $10 million later and it's already being breach by going over and thru it. It only takes minutes to cut thru the bollards. To get over they use a makeshift ladder on one side and rope ladder on the other side. Then they pass makeshift ladder thru opening to use in the second barrier. So much for the wall

  12. catty1997

    Patho/Ethos Checker:
    – Spooky, dramatic music (appeal to Pathos)
    – Selective reference to “alligators”, “spikes”,
    “migrants” (appeal to Pathos)
    – Short display of graphs/charts/numbers:
    man trust or find credible/trustworthy what
    they can’t comprehend entirely (appeal to
    Ethos)
    – Caricature of the faithless man who don’t
    keep his promises: mankind feel contempt
    for those perceived to be dishonourable
    (appeal to Ethos)
    – Convenient failure to point out that a wall
    and fence share the same function or
    rationale behind using see-through steel
    versus opaque concrete. (Shows lack of
    interest in the utility of fence vs wall and
    in the facts as it is; rather, that this point
    merely serves to advance the above point)

    Compared to Trump, this is “effective use of rhetoric”! Washington Post is being too humble.

  13. ThatCritique

    We would like to "thank" the US border patrol, ICE, the Military, President Trump, and the supportive American people as we desperately need to improve security and the wall/technologies…such as cameras, solar, lights, fiber optics sensors detects the tunnel digging near wall. We spent 113 billion on illegal immigration in just 2018, a 10-20 billion dollar wall to reduce crime. The GOP needs to take back obstructiveness corrupt DemoRats, who are “The Do Nothing House” back; so that the House of Representatives will fund more money to complete the Trump wall to a reasonable level for the safety of all Americans and help slow down some of the deep state CIA motivated drug-running every year, Over 500 metric tons’ illegal drugs consumed every year, bye children & adults in the USA and much of these drugs cross our borders illegally. The wall helps reduce child abduction/ abuse/ trafficking, rape and reduce, 500,000 to 1,300,000 new illegal immigrants every year, weapons, and crime in the USA. This will slow down the deep state corruption or NWO from destroying the United States' sovereignty and controlling our future. We also need to reelect Trump 2020-2024, President Trump should win by a landslide again so we can improve the wall and Americans' safety. Thankyou American people for help fund the wall and Thank you to Mexico President for putting more troops on both their borders to protect the "American Mexico border crossings from illegal activities."

  14. black n white

    With a population of 320,000,000 we can afford to take in another 60,000,000 if we wanted to. With a land mass of 9 million miles, same as China. Only we don't have 1.4 billion people. Built towns, and cities on government property from the ground up. The number of jobs needed will skyrocket. Homeless could build their own homes. Refugees could find safety and well-being. And feed our money hungry government more taxes. Remember the great Wall of China. Berlin Wall? Are those working?

  15. Kathy Ferragu

    I'D LOVE TO KNOW WHAT HIS KICK BACK FROM STEEL MFG. OF JOB? RIGHT AWAY HE HAD THAT SON IN LAW SPEARHEADING WALL. TRUMP PROBABLY SWITCHED TO STEEL…HE GOT MORE MONEY BACK. THEY SHOULD NAME PROJECT. WALL OF JERICHO.

  16. Dan Alan

    TRUMP HAS KEPT EVERY PROMICE AND MAGA IS 100% SUCCESSFUL. . DEMORATS HAVE DONE NOTHING BUT THE HOAX IMPEACHMENT…… THE FACT CHECKER IS JUST ANOTHER TOOL OF THE CROOKED, LYING, TRADEROUS DEMS

  17. Atahulpa

    He is building the wall!!!!! Even though the opposition has been working overtime to stop him!!!!! These fact-checkers are also part of that resistance, shewing garbage instead of supporting him, Get a life, dreamers …

  18. Gavin N.

    Can a politician sound more stupid?! I get putting out a wall to stop illegal immigration but I personally think it is incredibly demeaning to yourself to constantly talk about a wall that is making no progress.

  19. flymasterA

    Trump's genius is using the ignorance of opposers against them. It's allowing illegals to R&D weaknesses for free.
    Increased security measures will be implemented as needed.
    Once the wall is complete, implementing increased security hi-tech measures will be stemming the flow of the small % that the wall doesn't stop.

  20. Jan Lloyd

    The wall was not an issue until trump made it one. People coming in from Mexico had decreased like 80 per cent, he cut off aid to San Salvadore and Guatamala to get people coming, to keep the numbers up. He is making money from the detention centers, and the Fisher gravel company he hired. You people who support Trump are the biggest morons in the history of the world. He would take your money if he could get it..

  21. René A

    If there are Mexicans watching, dig under it, I saw that it is not deep. 3:06 Dig a hole one meter deep.
    smugglers have already cut a piece out of the fence. Because that's what it's a fence not a wall.

  22. Woll M

    Please this is fake news democrats are obstructionists period fake narrative problem is the media and socialist radical crazies ! Hail the mighty TRUMP 2020 !

  23. Athena Millay

    Washington Post, you lie so much hat you don't know what the truthvis!
    Have any of you gone to the border to see the wall being built? Evidently not!
    There are hundreds of miles being built by 2 different groups. Ficsher Construction has completed many miles of wall and also the military has.
    Assuming makes you look like fools!

  24. Taz Mania

    Trump should deport you unpatriotic assholes to Mexico and then Washington Post can film you cocksuckers as you try to go around under or climb over the wall that doesn't exist only to be shot on sight if you ever set foot on United States soil again now that would make a good YouTube video worth watching also you could show that female reporter at the start of the video being Fucked by a Donkey trying to climb over the wall that doesn't exist

  25. tisoy909

    Nine Americans were just killed by these drug financed animals south of the border is that misleading too? Most of them children. Do anybof these ignorant Liberals you brainwash have any idea what POS’s do to people.

  26. Hollywood Gold

    So all the video of new wall going up is a lie….Bahahaa. I'm so SICK of these LAIRS. The Washington Post has already been EXPOSED for COLLUDING with the Democrats, and flat out LYING in their reporting. The WP is NO LONGER a reliable source for ANY TRUTH. The WP and all those supporting or reporting are LIARS. DON'T BELIEVE THEM, THEY ARE LIARS.

  27. james bramwells

    WASHINGTON POST ERROR ERROR ERROR ERROR ERROR REDO FROM START========================== FFFFFFAAAAAAKKKKEeeeeeee nn ee ww ssss. P.S. Epstein was Murdered.

  28. RUINS MARS

    You know what Hillary lost and you can't take it. Why, well, because her name was "Hill-ary" get it ?! or is it HILLS-ary. Funny isn't it ?! Now we don't want to get into her other name CLI-n-TON now do we. The two make for a complexity only known by physics, I guess.

  29. society19 T

    Guess what ?? Mexicans are entering the U.S. underground. They already have several areas underground. The U.S. you look like a fcking total Fck up. As usual

  30. Vacnol

    First off, he's building a new wall. It's a wall, not a fence, you're not getting through or over it. The only reason it's not done it because of the Democrats. Where it has been completed crime has dropped by a good margin. I also love how we've been told by this very media organization there's no border crisis… but we had a 12 year high of arrests? In summary, this is bullshit like everything else the Media posts and Trump is doing more than our past three presidents combined.

  31. James Barnard

    Wow….this woman needs to be checked out intellectually; psychologically and professionally. Can anyone be more ridiculously stupid than she just displayed? Well, maybe Ocrazio-Cortex and her "band of fools"!!!!!

  32. Franco Palumbo

    This is still a discussion of Socialist – He has another 4 years to finish!! It is a fence not a wall? are kidding me?? Who Cares! It is called a Boarder! – WTF!

  33. Paddy Wack

    media say Trump said he will build a wall but he is only building a fence , well if the fence works whats the problem, plus i have been to the border and seen lots and lots of border fencing being built

  34. Jerry Dinn

    Either wall would be easy to climb steal or concrete if it was Steal like the one in the video with the vertical parallel beams you could simply make a tool to climb up the beams and if it wer concrete you could use an electric drill and some concrete ankors n climbing gear THINK OUTSIDE THE WALL PEOPLE!!!

  35. Marc B

    Where can I get detailed information on:

    1- Exactly where (all locations) are they REBUILDING existing walls and how many miles each location?

    2- Where are they building NEW wall where none existed and how many miles each location?

  36. AD FLUX

    Holy crap how stupid are these reporters!? A fence you are relating this to a fence!! How about thank God for this president! We all need to come together and love this country of ours.

  37. Carl Kelly

    Trump is a lying con artist. People working for Trump way too often go to prison. Trump will likely be thrown into prison someday as well. And…still no wall. The good news, we don't even need a wall.

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