Despite his campaign promise, Donald Trump has failed to get Mexico to pay for his stupid wall, because Mexico is a sovereign country and not a gullible NBC executive.
So ever since, President Deals has been trying to pawn his pet project off on the American public. He got $1.6 billion for wall (or, more accurately, fence) construction in the omnibus spending bill that he can’t stop whining about, but that’s far short of the $25 billion he wanted (Democratic estimates last year projected the cost of a wall at $70 billion). So now he’s pinning his hopes on the U.S. military.
On Sunday, Trump tweeted an incoherent thought that ended with “Build wall through M!” on and then self-RTed the tweet on Monday like the thirsty boy he is.
Now, the Washington Post reports, he’s trying to sell the idea of getting the military to fund the wall to Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Defense Secretary James Mattis, both of whom, it seems, were conveniently distracted when Trump floated the plan:
Trump has told advisers that he was spurned in a large spending bill last week when lawmakers appropriated only $1.6 billion for the border wall. He has suggested to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and congressional leaders that the Pentagon could fund the sprawling project, citing a “national security” risk.
After floating the notion to several advisers last week, Trump told House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) that the military should pay for the wall, according to three people familiar with the meeting last Wednesday in the White House residence. Ryan offered little reaction to the idea, these people said, but senior Capitol Hill officials later said it was an unlikely prospect.
The president has suggested to Mattis that his department, instead of the Department of Homeland Security, could fund the construction, two Trump advisers said. But the military is not likely to fund the wall, according to White House and Defense Department officials.
The Post story also has a hilarious kicker about the $1.6 billion that Trump’s wall has received:
Only $641 million is earmarked for new primary fencing in areas that have no barriers, and most of the money can be spent only on “operationally effective designs” that were deployed as of last May. That means the prototype designs the Trump administration is exploring cannot be built, except along a stretch of the border near San Diego where a barrier is already in place.
An “unlikely prospect” is an understatement. This is not happening.
Trump’s wall is a horrible idea and pretty much everyone in government except for him knows it. Aside from the fact that his motivations are purely based on xenophobia—though Ryan obviously doesn’t care about that part—the wall would almost assuredly go over budget. It would become the Republican Party’s Big Dig, if the Big Dig spanned most of the Southern border and would likely one day be considered a black eye in the country’s history. The entire project would be a field day for Democrats, so long as they didn’t vote for it in the spirit of bipartisanship.
Of course, no one will tell Trump any of that, because Trump has never been told no in his life. Instead, they’ll just continue to ignore him and hope that in a day or two, he’ll get so distracted and flustered by something he saw on TV that he’ll forget all about the wall for a couple of months. Given his track record, that would be a pretty safe bet to make.