IS A “STEEL BARRIER” BETTER THAN A “CEMENT WALL,” OR A COMPROMISE?
by Sharon Rondeau
(Jan. 6, 2019) — According to CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller shortly after 3:00 PM EST, President Trump returned from meeting with advisors at Camp David and appeared to reinforce the idea that he has changed his parlance about a border “wall” on the US-Mexico border to that of a “steel barrier.”
In remarks made to reporters as he departed the White House Sunday morning, Trump suggested he would be speaking with U.S. steel manufacturers to construct the barrier he believes is necessary to keep out illegal-alien entry from the South.
On Saturday evening, Trump tweeted, “The Wall Is Coming,” emphasizing the word “wall” with a larger font in a graphic containing his likeness and the image of a fence below. Since the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump has stated that the United States must stop the flow of drugs, crime, and human trafficking across its open southern border with “a wall.”
In tweets approximately three minutes apart, Knoller wrote, “Pres. Trump again said he’s considering declaring a national emergency to get the funds to build the border wall,” and “Pres. Trump says ‘I informed my folks to say that we’ll build a steel barrier’ along the southern border instead of a cement wall. “It’ll be less obtrusive and it’ll be stronger.”
Whether or not Trump now envisions a border barrier differently in an effort to end the political standoff with Democrats over the partial government shutdown which began at midnight on December 21 remains an open question. House Democrats, now led by Rep. Nancy Pelosi, have stated they will provide no funding for a border wall because of its “immorality.”
Discussions between Democrat and Republican congressional leaders and the White House did not resolve the impasse on Friday or Saturday. On Friday, the first full day of the 116th Congress, the House passed an appropriations bill which would reopen shuttered government departments but containing no money for building a border wall.
During a presser in the Rose Garden on Friday afternoon, Trump said he would accept no less than $5.6 billion for a border wall and that many furloughed government employees agree with his stance. Over the weekend, he stated that the shutdown could end soon if Democrats provide border-wall funding but that it could take much longer. He also said he is considering declaring the situation at the southern border a “national emergency” so as to exercise executive authority to begin building the barrier he wants.
Update, 5:56 p.m. EST: At approximately 5:00 p.m., Trump tweeted that Sunday meetings between Vice President Mike Pence and Democrat representatives were “productive” and repeated his claim that a steel barrier is “both stronger & less obtrusive” than a concrete wall.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.