AP FACT CHECK: Trump exaggerates what’s getting done on the border wall (and the length of his rally line).
President Donald Trump on Monday presented the border wall as a work in progress, hailing the start of a “big, big portion” with much more coming soon. That’s a hefty exaggeration from a president who has yet to see an extra mile of barrier completed since he took office.
With another possible government shutdown looming, and illegal immigration still at the heart of the budget dispute, Trump is pulling out the stops to portray his proposed wall as essential to public safety, including stemming crime. As he’s done repeatedly, Trump also defied the record in claiming that the wall that Congress has refused to pay for is rapidly coming together anyway.
Trump addressed the subjects at an El Paso, Texas, rally Monday night and an earlier White House meeting with sheriffs. A look at some of his comments:
TRUMP, on his proposed wall: “We’ve built a lot of it.” — rally remarks.
TRUMP: “We’ve actually started a big, big portion of the wall today at a very important location, and it’s going to go up pretty quickly over the next nine months. That whole area will be finished. It’s fully funded… and we’re going to have a lot of wall being built over the next period of time.” — White House remarks.
THE FACTS: There’s less going on here than his words convey. Construction is getting started on merely 14 miles (23 kilometers) of extended barrier, approved by Congress about a year ago in an appropriation that also authorized money to renovate and strengthen some existing fencing. The extension will be in Texas’ Rio Grande Valley. That’s not a “big, big portion” of the grand project he promised in his campaign and countless times since — a wall that, combined with existing fencing and natural barriers, would seal the nearly 2,000-mile (3,200-kilomete) border with Mexico.

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