Trump tweets photo of replacement fence, calls it 'Border Wall'

President Trump continues to erode his credibility, this time by tweeting a photo of a replacement fence and calling this the beginning of the construction of the "Border Wall."

Trump's words leave the impression that construction is underway for the border wall he promised, and that $1.6 billion is helping pay for it. That's not the case.

According to Los Angeles Times reporting, the photos Trump shared in his March 28 tweet about "the start of our southern border WALL" were for the replacement of an estimated 2.25-mile border wall in Calexico, Calif., built in the 1990s using recycled scraps of metal and old landing mat. 

The Los Angeles Times quoted Jonathan Pacheco, a spokesman for the Border Patrol's El Centro Sector as having said earlier in March: "First and foremost, this isn't Trump's wall. This isn't the infrastructure that Trump is trying to bring in. ... This new wall replacement has absolutely nothing to do with the prototypes that were shown over in the San Diego area."

Conspiracy theorists believe that Trump has a secret plan to illegally divert military spending to build his wall.  The tweet above should put this to rest.  Trump clearly refers to his "wall" with a photo of a fence (a replacement fence).  This is the "wall" he has promised.

It's hard to believe a president who has an adulterous relationship with the truth.  Every time he demonstrates his lack of candor, he calls into question his other statements, such as his latest proclamation that he is going to send the National Guard to help the Border Patrol.

I'm reserving judgment on that until I see exactly how many National Guardsmen are sent there and what their responsibilities are.  It may interest you to know that when George W. Bush was president, he deployed 6,000 National Guardsmen, only a quarter of the number deemed necessary, and illegal border crossings were reduced by only 24%.

If Trump commits the necessary resources to defend the border, I'll be the first to praise him.  If he sends only a small number of Guardsmen for political theater, then it will be just another example of where the president's rhetoric has no relation to reality.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at

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