- The Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer clashed with President Donald Trump on Tuesday in a remarkable on-camera debate and confronted him about his false claims about his proposed wall along the US-Mexico border.
- Trump has repeatedly claimed that much of his wall has been built, even though none of it has.
- So far, only fencing projects have been completed – not the wall Trump promised during his presidential campaign.
- Pelosi complained that Trump was forcing them to debate the issue in front of the press, urging him to have a discussion “where we don’t have to contradict in public the statistics that you put forth.”
Congressional Democratic leaders clashed with President Donald Trump over misrepresenting the state of his long-promised wall along the US-Mexico border during a remarkable on-camera debate in the Oval Office on Tuesday.
In a heated dispute over Trump’s request for $US5 billion in funding for the wall, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer confronted Trump over his repeated false claims, urging him to have a “truthful” discussion.
At one point in his remarks, Trump boasted that “a lot of the wall is built” and that “it’s been very effective,” even though none of the wall he promised in his presidential campaign has been built, aside from eight prototypes constructed outside San Diego, California.
Trump even presented flashcards with statistics that he said showed the success of the border wall, saying illegal traffic in several border regions – San Diego; El Paso, Texas; Tucson, Arizona; and Yuma, Arizona – dropped “once the wall was up.” But only fencing has been built with the $US1.6 billion allocated last spring.
“Here’s what I want to say: We have a lot of disagreements here. The Washington Post today gave you a whole lot of Pinocchios because they say you constantly misstate how much of the wall is built,” Schumer said, most likely referring to the newspaper’s recently announced “Bottomless Pinocchio” rating for Trump’s most frequently repeated false claims.
At another point in the meeting, after Pelosi complained about having the meeting on camera, Trump insisted that debating the issue in front of the press was “not bad, Nancy – it’s called transparency.”
Pelosi fired back: “It’s not transparency when we’re not stipulating to a set of facts and when we want to have a debate with you about saying we confront some of those facts.”
She argued that the flashcards Trump presented were not factual and urged him to participate in a discussion “where we don’t have to contradict in public the statistics that you put forth.”
“We have to have an evidence-based conversation about what does work, and what money has been spent, and how effective it is,” she said. “This is about the security of our country we take an oath to protect and defend. We don’t want to have that mischaracterized by anyone.”
After the meeting, Pelosi told reporters again that she wished the debate had not been public but that Trump’s misstatements needed to be corrected.
“We didn’t want to contradict the president when he was putting forth figures that had no reality to them, no basis in fact,” she said. “We have to, if we are going to proceed in all of this, have evidence-based, factual, truthful information about what works and what doesn’t. I didn’t want to, in front of those people, say, ‘You don’t know what you are talking about.'”
- Read more of INSIDER’s immigration coverage:
- The Trump administration paid a private company $US13.6 million to recruit thousands of Border Patrol agents, and they have hired 2 so far
- This stunning visualisation of US immigration over 226 years will make you rethink how America’s population has evolved
- Denmark wants to isolate its ‘unwanted’ migrants on a remote island that once housed contagious animals
- 81 migrant children have been forcibly separated from their parents since June, despite Trump’s executive order
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