Friday, January 6, 2017

What did Donald Trump do today?

He continued to retreat from his campaign promise to force Mexico to pay for an enhanced border wall.

Trump's transition team has asked Congressional Republicans to add funds for construction of additional border fencing to the next round of appropriations. Trump has offered few specifics for public consumption, but estimates for the cost range from $12 billion (his own) to $38 billion (the MIT Technology review). It is not clear that Congressional Republicans will be willing to increase the current border construction allotment ($175 million) by several hundredfold.

Mexican officials have said repeatedly--and occasionally profanely--that Mexico will bear no portion of the cost. Trump has not yet elaborated on how this would happen.

Trump angrily tweeted today that, contrary to reports in "the dishonest media" detailing this, he was not abandoning his plans to force Mexico to pay; only that it would take the form of a reimbursement at some unspecified later date. The reimbursement element was widely reported on prior to that tweet.

So what?

  • Trump's voters may have believed him when he said, hundreds of times over the course of the campaign, that he would build a wall and make Mexico pay for it.
  • Presidents shouldn't attack the media for accurately reporting on what their administrations say.