Donald Trump's claims about a border wall are among his strangest lies. For months, the president has insisted that he and his administration have expanded a physical barrier along the U.S./Mexico border, and those rascally fact-checkers who say otherwise are not to be believed.
The Republican has even instructed his followers at various rallies to stop chanting, "Build the wall," and start chanting, "Finish the wall." Implicit in the directions is the idea that Trump has already made great progress in completing his goal.
In reality, he hasn't. The Washington Examiner, a conservative online outlet, reported over the weekend that the administration "has not installed a single mile of new wall in a previously fenceless part of the U.S.-Mexico border in the 30 months since President Trump assumed office."
The Examiner added, "In a statement last week, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the federal agency overseeing border barrier construction, confirmed that all the fencing completed since Trump took office is 'in place of dilapidated designs' because the existing fence was in need of replacement."
It's not complicated: old barriers have, in some cases, been replaced with new barriers, but the parts of the border in which there was no structure separating the two countries haven't changed since Trump took office.
And that's apparently led the president to try to move the goalposts a bit. Here was his tweet on the subject last night:
"When we rip down and totally replace a badly broken and dilapidated Barrier on the Southern Border, something which cannot do the job, the Fake News Media gives us zero credit for building a new Wall. We have replaced many miles of old Barrier with powerful new Walls!"
And this was the follow-up this morning:
"When an old Wall at the Southern Border, that is crumbling and falling over, built in an important section to keep out problems, is replaced with a brand new 30 foot high steel and concrete Wall, the Media says no new Wall has been built. Fake News! Building lots of Wall!"
Trump is playing a tiresome little game in which he wants to apply his own creative definition of the word "wall" -- and the word "new."