The Arizona-Mexico border fence near Naco, Arizona, March 29, 2013.
Samantha Sais/Reuters

Trump's case for his border wall gets quite a bit stranger

— Updated

There are few ideas more closely associated with Donald Trump than his dream of a massive wall along the U.S./Mexico border -- which, he's assured the public, will be financed by Mexico. In a lengthy chat with reporters aboard Air Force One this week, the president made clear that this remains a top priority.

In fact, as the partial transcript shows, it's apparently a subject to which he's given some thought.

"One of the things with the wall is you need transparency. You have to be able to see through it. In other words, if you can't see through that wall -- so it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what's on the other side of the wall.

"And I'll give you an example. As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don't see them -- they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It's over. As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall. But we have some incredible designs."

As best as I can tell, Trump was being quite serious. When the president says he wants "transparency" in this project, he's being literal: he wants people to able to see through the border wall, in order to be able to protect themselves from 60-pound bags of drugs that Mexicans will somehow catapult over Trump's beloved wall.

Perhaps giant signs that read, "Beware of giant bags of drugs falling from the sky" would make the gaps in the steel planks unnecessary.

As part of the same exchange, a reporter asked the president if he was joking about putting solar panels all over his border wall. "No, not joking, no," Trump replied. "There is a chance that we can do a solar wall. We have major companies looking at that. Look, there's no better place for solar than the Mexico border -- the southern border. And there is a very good chance we can do a solar wall, which would actually look good. But there is a very good chance we could do a solar wall."

Every serious analysis of the idea has made clear that this isn't a realistic idea.

And before reporters and the president moved on to other subjects, Trump added that his vision of a 2,000-mile border wall wouldn't actually extend the full 2,000 miles. As he put it, "You have mountains. You have some rivers that are violent and vicious. You have some areas that are so far away that you don't really have people crossing. So you don't need that. But you'll need anywhere from 700 to 900 miles."

Given the fact that we already have about 700 miles in fencing, I assume it's only a matter of time before Trump simply declares victory, claims he's already built his wall, and pats himself on the back.