A section of President Donald Trump’s border wall—which is not new, but merely replaced an existing structure—collapsed Wednesday in 37 mph winds.
CNN reports: Agent Carlos Pitones of the Customs and Border Protection sector in El Centro, California, told CNN that the sections that gave way had recently been set in a new concrete foundation in Calexico, California. The concrete had not yet cured, according to Pitones, and the wall panels were unable to withstand the windy conditions. … Earlier this month, the administration announced that the wall had reached the 100-mile mark, the majority of which was replacing barriers with newer, enhanced designs, and around half a mile was constructed in the Rio Grande Valley where no wall previously existed. The White House has pushed for construction on the US-Mexico border to be dubbed new wall, according to a former administration official. There was a “constant drumbeat” from the White House to call it “new wall” within the Department of Homeland Security, the official added. “There is a lot of pressure on the President to deliver in the campaign promise.”
The collapse occurred hours after Trump proclaimed during a rally in New Jersey, “The money is won. And we are now building that beautiful wall. This powerful border wall is going up at record speed, and we just reached over 100 miles of wall. And next year we’ll be over 400 miles. And shortly thereafter it will be complete.”
Here’s how PolitiFact responded: Trump is referring to a court victory allowing him to use $3.6 billion for military construction projects toward the wall instead. (Congress was not giving Trump the money he wanted for the wall, so he declared a national emergency in order to tap the military funds.) Most of the border wall projects replace or bolster existing fencing. As for 400 more miles coming next year, it’s not immediately clear what he’s referring to. He said the same thing in May about 2020. In short, the wall still has a long way to go before it matches Trump’s vision from 2016.
Trump went on to repeat his claim that Mexico will pay for the wall, but PolitiFact notes: There’s no evidence of this. We asked the Trump team for more details and haven’t heard back. Trump previously claimed that Mexico would pay for the wall through the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, which he will soon sign. There is no provision for the wall in the free trade agreement.