On Friday night, Donald Trump headlined a campaign rally in Mississippi, where he not only bragged about constructing barriers along the U.S./Mexico border, he insisted that no one can “cut through” the fencing his administration has installed.
It was about nine hours later when the Washington Post ran this article discrediting the president’s boasts.
Smuggling gangs in Mexico have repeatedly sawed through new sections of President Trump’s border wall in recent months by using commercially available power tools, opening gaps large enough for people and drug loads to pass through, according to U.S. agents and officials with knowledge of the damage.
The breaches have been made using a popular cordless household tool known as a reciprocating saw that retails at hardware stores for as little as $100…. After cutting through the base of a single bollard, smugglers can push the steel out of the way, allowing an adult to fit through the gap. Because the bollards are so tall – and are attached only to a panel at the very top – their length makes them easier to push aside once they have been cut and are left dangling, according to engineers consulted by The Washington Post.
This comes on the heels of an NBC News report from earlier this year on Department of Homeland Security testing that found vulnerabilities to Trump’s barriers.
Asked about the revelations, Trump said he was unfamiliar with the revelations, though he quickly added, “We have a very powerful wall. But no matter how powerful, you can cut through anything, in all fairness…. [Y]ou can cut through any wall.”
The president went on to say that after the barriers have been pierced, he’s confident that officials can “put the chunk back in” – after people have had an opportunity to go through it after using popular cordless household tools readily available in hardware stores.
Trump’s rhetoric on Saturday was a welcome change of pace – I more or less assumed he’d dismiss the Post’s reporting as “fake” – though it dramatically contradicted everything he’s said about the border project for months.
The Republican has, after all, repeatedly assured Americans that he was building a “wall” that’s “impenetrable.” Now he’s been reduced to conceding that people can “can cut through any wall,” raising questions about whether he fully appreciates the meaning of the word “impenetrable.”
Of course, Trump has also claimed that the border barriers cannot be climbed, and that doesn’t appear to be true, either.
So let’s take stock. Trump wants Americans to believe he’s built hundreds of miles of impenetrable wall that cannot be climbed. In reality, it’s not a wall; it’s not hundreds of miles; it can be climbed; and it’s penetrable.
Oh, and Mexico isn’t paying for any of it, the Republican’s campaign promises notwithstanding.