“Are you ready?” Trump told a cheering crowd in Arizona during his 2016 campaign trail. “We will build a great wall along the southern border and Mexico will pay for that wall,” He also added. “It will go up so fast your head will spin.”
Now during this Trump imposed shutdown he’s singing a different tune. At a recent press conference CNN reporter Kaitlin Collins echoed, more or less, what Ari Melber said the day before, “You promised supporters that Mexico is going to be paying for the wall,” she said to the president. “And right now the government is in shut down over a demand that the American tax payer, pay for the wall. So how can you say you’re not failing on that promise to supporters?” Trump grumbled, for a second. “Very nice question so beautifully asked,” he said. “Even though I just answered it,” Collins protested. “You didn’t answer it,” she said. “Excuse me, excuse me,” said Trump. shutting her down. “I just told you that we made a trade deal,” he paused. “And we will be taking in billions and billions of dollars,” he added sounding like Carl Sagan. “Far more than the cost of the wall. The wall is peanuts in comparison.” Trump went on continuing to stray from Collins original point by talking about steel versus concrete in the construction of the border wall.
What’s wrong with this picture? I can name two things right away. Obviously, he’s broken a campaign promise over Mexico paying for the wall. And if, as he claims, Mexico has already paid for the wall several times over, then why shut down the government and demand that Democrats pay for it?
Politifact pointed out what we already knew. “No, Mexico isn’t paying for the wall through a trade deal with USMCA. Despite Donald Trump’s claims.” USMCA is the negotiated name for NAFTA. And as Politifact also pointed out, it’s not even in effect yet.
Earlier, Trump said he didn’t care about the 800,000 furloughed and unemployed government workers who aren’t getting paid– because they’re Democrats. Now he claims the furloughed bunch are all rooting for him. As my father used to say, “Yeah, tell it to Sweeney.”
The Koch Brothers may be big Republicans but, interestingly enough, they’ve been slammed on Twitter by Trump ever since 2016 for not supporting his presidential run. And Trump is famous for not wanting to spend his own money.
So, let’s go back to the border wall and the $5.6 billion Trump is asking for, and which he claims is merely peanuts. Aside from the Koch Brothers, Trump still has many wealthy supporters to whom he could turn to pay for it instead of the tax payer—such as Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas business magnate with a net worth of 34 billion. Or, there’s Carl Icahn former presidential advisor, net worth 15.5 billion. Or, there is Gene Simmons from the rock band KISS who has a net worth 300 million. Yes, with that kind of money it could even be a KISS- themed Rock N Brew-Vegas style-border wall.
So as Trump continues to shift the blame by saying “This is a Schumer shutdown, a Pelosi shutdown, remind the world he told us Mexico would pay for the wall.