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One of President Donald Trump’s signature campaign pledges in 2016 was to build thousands of miles of new border wall along the U.S. boundary with Mexico.
Shortly after taking office, the president set to work on this signature promise, but was thwarted by a then-GOP-controlled Congress as well as left-wing organizations who went to court in order to stop him.
After a migrant border crisis in 2018 shifted the narrative in the president’s favor, however, he utilized a national emergency declaration to secure funds Congress had appropriated for the Pentagon but had not earmarked for specific defense programs and line items.
And with those funds, Trump steamrolled ahead to fulfill his pledge.
That said, the media has routinely downplayed Trump’s border wall construction efforts, claiming new sections were not being built and that Trump was merely replacing existing barriers.
Those reports were both wrong and misleading.
In a segment on her Thursday program, MSNBC host Katy Tur brought on network correspondent Jacob Soboroff ahead of a nearly six-minute report detailing the administration’s border wall work. And while the network centered its report on the negative aspects of the wall, Soboroff made it clear that the prior reporting on its progress hasn’t been accurate.
“…[W]eeks out from the election, NBC News found that so-called ‘replacement’ isn’t as insignificant as Democrats or some fact-checkers have claimed,” Tur said in bringing on Soboroff and introducing the segment.
“So, Jacob, you know, we’ve said this on this show, ‘It’s not new wall — it is replacement wall.’ You went down there to take a look. It’s kind of not — it’s kind of — it’s accurate, but it doesn’t tell the full story, does it?” Tur asked.
“I’ve said the same thing as well, and it turns out that we were all incorrect. The reality is, while the Democrats and fact-checkers might technically be right, it is not that simple. And when you go down there and look for yourself, it’s easy to understand why,” the correspondent replied, as MSNBC kicked off his lengthy report.
In it, Soboroff speaks to a number of anti-wall activists while also showing viewers the stark differences between existing barriers and the massive wall segments the administration is building.
At one point in the report, the correspondent says as he stands near a section of new wall, “When we hear people talking about that President Trump ‘is really only building a handful of miles of new wall, and the rest of it is replacement,’ almost in a dismissive way, ‘It’s just hundreds of miles of replacement — there was already something there.’ That something is this,” he says, while turning and pointing to a weak-looking barrier.
“And they’re replacing it with this,” he continued, pointing to the massive new structure.
The camera then cuts to Liken Jordahl, an anti-wall activist.
“Yeah, this idea that it’s just a replacement, at best, it’s misguided. At worst, it’s a complete flat-out lie,” Jordahl said.
“I think people don’t want to give the administration a win on that, but the reality is, the wall’s going up. This notion that it’s not ‘new’ really takes away from the fact that this is ripping Arizona and the rest of the borderlands in two,” he adds.
To close out the report, Soboroff tells Tur, “Whether it is new wall or replacement wall, dismissing any of it is a mistake. When you talk to people on the ground, they say that whether it’s the environment, whether it’s migration, whether it’s wildlife, the impacts of this are going to be extremely significant, and the president — as you heard there — is doing exactly what he promised he was going to do.”
“Elections have consequences,” Tur responded.
Fox News reported on the large amount of new border wall sections in November 2019, NewsBusters noted.
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