Over the holidays during the government shutdown, President Trump repeatedly posted on Twitter a variety of rationales for why a wall along the southern border is necessary. The Washington Post Fact Checker offers a recap of various misstatements needing clarification. Here are two examples: The president said on Christmas day about the wall, “The Democrats don’t want it, because they don’t want open borders, and yet every one of those Democrats approved the wall, or a fence, or very, very substantial barriers. Every single one. I don’t think there’s one — but let’s assume, let’s use the word, almost everyone approved a wall, or a fence, or exactly what we’re talking about, as little as three years ago.”
The Post says that Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and many Democrats (though not Rep. Nancy Pelosi) voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which was signed by President George W. Bush and authorized building a fence along nearly 700 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. The fence they voted for is not so substantial as the wall Trump is proposing. Trump has called the 2006 fence “such a nothing wall.” To Trump, opposing the wall is tantamount to not wanting any border security. Democrats have offered support for $1.3 billion in security enhancements. That doesn’t include funding for Trump’s wall, but it includes 65 miles of pedestrian fencing along the Southeast Texas border with Mexico, similar to what already exists. Trump said on Sunday that Barack and Michelle Obama had built a 10-foot wall around their “D.C. mansion/compound.” The Post says the Obamas did add security fencing to an enlarged retaining wall in front for the needs of the Secret Service, but there is not a 10-foot wall around the house [not a compound]; the front steps are open to the sidewalk.