The Daily Mail says Trump is LYING to us about the border wall, but are they right?

The Daily Mail hit Trump today claiming that he’s been lying to us all along, that zero new walls have been built since he’s been president:

To back up their claim, they quote the CBP:

The United States government has built no new border walls during the Trump administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed exclusively to DailyMail.com on Thursday.

Border barriers erected between the U.S. and Mexico since Inauguration Day 2017 have consisted of supplements to existing walls and replacements for outmoded or decrepit sections.

‘The first new wall project, where no barrier currently exists, is anticipated to start in April,’ CBP spokesman Roger Maier said in an email. He identified Hidalgo County as the construction project’s location, a border zone along a meandering 50-mile stretch of the Rio Grande.

CBP said last year that it was ‘designing and constructing approximately 25 miles of levee wall system’ in that county, whose anchor is the the border city of McAllen.

Then they quote Trump supposedly ‘lying’ about the wall in the very next paragraph:

President Donald Trump visited McAllen on January 11, boasting of wall renovations that he framed as ‘new’ construction. ‘I will say, we’ve done a lot of renovation. And we have a lot of new wall going up where we took down wall because it was in such bad shape, and we put new wall up,’ he said.

They say he’s framing this as ‘new wall’.

I do not understand this complaint. Trump clearly points out that this is new wall renovation, not completely new wall where there is none. He literally says "...we took down wall because it was in such bad shape, and we put new wall up."

But the Daily Mail spins this as him lying about putting up a new wall? That’s the hackiest job I’ve ever seen from the Daily Mail.

 
And then there’s this tweet from Trump from back in January:

Here’s what they write:

Some of Trump’s claims about his construction described sections of border wall where none existed before.

In January he tweeted a complaint that ‘[t]he Fake News Media keeps saying we haven’t built any NEW WALL.’

He provided a photograph of a section of border wall, saying: ‘Below is a section just completed on the Border. Anti-climbing feature included. Very high, strong and beautiful! Also, many miles already renovated and in service!’

Trump didn’t say where the photo was taken, but a date-stamp indicated it was created in October.



Look I’ll be the first to admit that Trump has never been a precision speaker. He’s quite often ambiguous in the way that he communicates and this is nothing new. Could he do a better job? Absolutely.

But he doesn’t claim this is new wall where none have ever existed, as the Daily Mail claims.

Just because he calls it ‘new wall’ doesn’t mean it can’t be renovation. In fact he says in the tweet that many miles have already been ‘renovated’, referring to what he shows in the picture. He puts the ‘renovated’ phrasing after the word ‘also’, so it kinda sounds like he’s talking about something else. But I think it’s really all the same thing.

To pony this up as a lie is ridiculous in my opinion.

In most cases when Trump mentions building a ‘new wall’, he mentions that they are renovations.

 
They quote other tweets that I’ll briefly dissect:


“Major sections of wall are being built and renovated”.

How is this not true? They build major new sections to renovate older sections.

 
And…


Trump is clearly talking about the big caravan in Tijuana, the one that tried to invade the border by force a couple weeks beforehand.

 
And…

Here he doesn’t mention this is renovation. Should he have been more clear about this? Absolutely. Hitting him for this one being confusing I kinda get. But it’s still a new wall replacing an old wall, so it’s not technically wrong.

The bottom line is that while Trump could be more clear at times, he was clear in some of the examples used by the Daily Mail.

For them to concoct a headline like they did make this far more of a ‘hit piece’ than anything else. They seriously need to do a better job.

Also just to emphasize, the project of building a new wall where none exists is slated to start next month, according to the CBP in the first quote at the top.

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