President Donald Trump insisted that his southern border wall project was already underway and that he had video evidence to prove it. The problem: the video is almost half a year old, and shows already pre-approved border barrier repairs, not new construction.
Trump first shared the video Wednesday on his Twitter. “We have just built this powerful Wall in New Mexico,” the president wrote. “Completed on January 30, 2019 – 47 days ahead of schedule! Many miles more now under construction!”
Watch the video below:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 20, 2019
He then retweeted the video on Thursday and claimed, in an all-caps declaration, “THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW!”
THE WALL IS UNDER CONSTRUCTION RIGHT NOW! https://t.co/exUJCiITsz
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 21, 2019
But the “wall” Trump is showing isn’t Trump’s dream of over 1,000 miles of new wall. It’s business as usual at the border.
“It’s a replacement project,” Mike Petersen, public affairs director for the Army Corps of Engineers’ South Pacific Division, told Task & Purpose. “I was in the division 12 years ago and we were doing border wall replacement work back then.”
Task & Purpose also reported that the video was filmed Sep. 18, 2018, over five months ago. It shows work on the Santa Theresa Project Border Wall Replacement Project, which is an effort to replace 20 miles of vehicle barriers to the fence seen in the video.
None of it is new barriers. In fact, as of January, not a single mile of new barriers have been built at the southern since Trump took office, according to the New York Times. There has, however, been 40 miles of replacement barriers completed.
As the Washington Post pointed out, Trump indicated he already knew that there is no way this video could be a part of his new wall project.
“We’re right now in construction with wall in some of the most important areas. And we have renovated a tremendous amount of wall, making it just as new,” the president said during his national emergency declaration announcement at the White House last week.
“That’s where a lot of the money has been spent — on renovation,” he continued. “In fact, we were restricted to renovating. Which is okay, but we’re going to run out of areas that we can renovate pretty soon, so — and we need new wall.”