Trump compares his border barrier to the walls of 'wealthy' politicians' homes

White HousePresident Donald Trump delivers his primetime address at the White House, January 8, 2019.
  • President Donald Trump in his first primetime address appealed to the public and drew parallels between his proposed steel barrier at the US-Mexico border, and the purported barriers from the homes of “wealthy politicians.”
  • “Some have suggested a barrier is immoral,” Trump said on Tuesday night at the Oval Office. “Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences and gates around their homes?”
  • Trump appeared to reference a previous claim he made in a tweet, in which he claimed President Barack Obama’s family had “a ten foot Wall” at their “mansion” in Washington D.C.
  • Obama’s neighbours disputed the claim.

President Donald Trump in his first primetime address appealed to the public and drew parallels between his proposed steel barrier at the US-Mexico border, and the purported barriers around the homes of “wealthy politicians.”

“Some have suggested a barrier is immoral,” Trump said on Tuesday night at the Oval Office. “Then why do wealthy politicians build walls, fences and gates around their homes?”

“They don’t build walls because they hate the people on the outside but because they love the people on the inside,” Trump added.

In a December tweet, Trump claimed the family of former President Barack Obama had “a ten foot Wall [sic]” at their “mansion” in Washington D.C.

“I agree, totally necessary for their safety and security,” Trump tweeted. “The US needs the same thing, slightly larger version!”

Obama’s neighbours disputed the claim, telling The Washington Post that there was no wall at the 8,200 square-foot building. The front steps to the home are reportedly open to the footpath, and the security fencing was said to have been included to accommodate the Secret Service, The Post’s fact checkers explain.

“There’s a fence that goes along the front of the house, but it’s the same as the other neighbours have,” one neighbour, who described Trump as having a “very active imagination,” told The Post. “It’s tastefully done.”

In his highly-anticipated speech, Trump described the “crisis” at the border as a matter of “national security.” But Trump stopped short of exercising his presidential authority to declare a national emergency, which would have conceivably allowed him divert government funds to military projects, including the border barrier.

While previous presidents from both parties have declared national emergencies during their tenure, a move to fund the controversial border barrier and circumvent Democratic opposition was widely panned by legal scholars.

The stalemate on passing a funding bill to open the government culminated into the ongoing partial government shutdown, which is now on its 18th day.

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