As President of the United States, Donald Trump seems to spend an alarming amount of time tweeting. Whether he’s congratulating Fox News on some apparently excellent journalism, throwing shade at other world leaders, or announcing changes to the military that haven’t actually been approved, the former businessman just loves to get the most of his 280 characters.
In fact, the only thing he seems to enjoy more than using social media is playing golf.
Sometimes, however, Trump’s eagerness to tweet about his every presidential move does him more harm than good. Take yesterday, for example, in which Trump shared images of the supposed southern border wall.
Great briefing this afternoon on the start of our Southern Border WALL! pic.twitter.com/pmCNoxxlkH
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2018
Along with a statement about a briefing on the wall, Trump also shared four pictures of what he implied to be the beginnings of construction work. And, considering that the border wall was ostensibly one of the main reasons that he landed himself a spot in the White House, this was a pretty big deal.
Or, at least, it would have been if the pictures were legit.
As it turns out, though, the images are not of the new border wall at all, but instead, show the ongoing repairs to a pre-existing part of the fence in California. What’s more, the project to fix the metal barrier has been going on since 2009 – way before Trump was on the scene.
According to the US Customs and Border Protection, the repairs were approved almost a decade ago in order to prevent illegal immigration. “Although the existing wall has proven effective at deterring unlawful cross border activity, smuggling organizations damaged and breached this outdated version of a border wall several hundred times during the last two years,” they said.
Within minutes, dozens of Trump’s followers were calling him out on his deception:
“That’s a fence not a wall and it’s a replacement of what was already there. You’ve done nothing but pat yourself on the back for things you haven’t done,” wrote one Twitter user.
“Trump promised a wall that Mexico would pay for. This is a fence that is being repaired with American money. I miss where any part of this is Trump keeping his promise,” added another.
“OK SO ANOTHER LIE!!!! THIS IS A REPLACEMENT WALL THAT WAS ORDERED IN 2009. THIS IS NOT YOUR WALL. WHAT A JOKE. SIGNED, AND [sic] HONEST CALIFORNIAN,” wrote Teri Weinberg.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) March 28, 2018
At this point, though, are we really that surprised that Trump was, at best, mistaken? From the moment he announced his intentions to run for president, he’s veered from mishap to scandal with startling alacrity. From the border wall promises to the Stormy Daniels scandal, it seems these scandals are starting to mount once again.
But, until the USA sees evidence of a real border wall funded by Mexico – as Trump promised – it seems that opponents of the president aren’t going to let him get away with spreading what would appear to be fake news.