A quick review of Trump’s prior statements, which you can see in the video above, shows he long promised the wall would be made, at least primarily, from concrete. But the “concrete” contradiction comes as congressional leaders try to pin down what Trump will, and will not, accept to reopen the government.
Trump originally told Senate Republicans he would accept a “clean” government funding bill. Then he refused to accept any funding bill that did not provide $5 billion for his border wall. (It is worth noting Trump requested just $1.6 billion for his border wall in his 2019 budget.)
Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall via reimbursement. Now Trump says Mexico will pay via a yet-to-be-approved trade agreement that could reduce federal revenue.
In December, Trump said he would be “proud” to shut down the government. By the end of the month, he was calling it the #SchumerShutdown.
In 2018, Trump cited low illegal border crossings to point to his effectiveness on immigration. In 2019, Trump cited low illegal border crossings to make the case for a wall.
Trump has also repeatedly moved the goal posts on how much a wall would cost, and as Trump acknowledged on Friday, building the wall with steel will cost taxpayers even more.
“The steel is actually more expensive than the concrete, but I think we are probably talking about steel because I really feel the other side feels better about it and I can understand what they are saying,” Trump said, failing to mention his tariffs have also increased the cost of steel.
But Trump’s steel politics may prove prescient.
“I am someone who is willing to see more border fencing as long as we choose a technology that DHS says is going to be effective,” Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.) said Monday on “Fox and Friends.” “and I do think his moving towards steel slats rather than concrete wall, if it holds, is important.”