Trump’s Handpicked Contractor – a Donor and Fox News Regular – Builds Privately-funded Section of the Border that is About to Come Tumbling Down
President Trump loves to talk about his border wall. These days he talks more about his border wall than he talks about the coronavirus pandemic that has taken 135,000 lives. He is more interested in raiding appropriated funds to pay for his border wall than in supporting FEMA, National Guard and military readiness. And, he’s very interested in steering billion-dollar contracts to donors.
Now Trump is attempting to distance himself from the privately-funded border wall erected by Trump supporters in South Texas.
Why? Because of reports that the wall was eroding and in danger of falling down and washing away. Over the weekend, Trump tweeted: “I disagreed with doing this very small (tiny) section of wall, in a tricky area, by a private group which raised money by ads. It was only done to make me look bad, and perhsps [sic] it now doesn’t even work.”
The catch? The same builder involved in erecting the privately-funded border wall, Trump supporter Tommy Fischer, is the same builder to whom Trump has helped steer $1.7 billion in taxpayer contracts for building publicly-funded sections of the wall. Fischer hails from North Dakota, and gave huge contributions and made himself ubiquitous on Fox News to get to Trump. He did.
According to Frank Sharry, Executive Director of America’s Voice:
Trump wants his border wall to be a manifestation of his first term accomplishments. It is.
It is a monument to his vanity and another example of his rank corruption. It is more about his reelection than our national interest. It is being built through authoritarian strong-arming and is motivated by his ‘keep them out’ race-baiting. And it does not work. It is easily compromised by cheap rope ladders, inexpensive chainsaws and underground tunnels. Add ‘muddy riverbanks’ to the list of how easy it is to defeat the stupid and offensive border wall.
Like his presidency and reelection prospects, the wall is eroding.
A ProPublica story titled, “Trump Says He “Disagreed” With Privately Funded Border Wall, So Why Did His Administration Award the Builder $1.7 Billion in Contracts to Erect More Walls?” has more:
President Donald Trump complained via Twitter on Sunday that a privately constructed border wall in Texas was a bad idea and poorly done — not mentioning that his administration has awarded the builder a $1.7 billion contract to build more walls.
With the backing of Trump supporters, Tommy Fisher built a 3-mile border fence along the Rio Grande, calling it the “Lamborghini” of fences. But just months after completion of his showcase piece directly on the banks of the river, there are signs of erosion along and under the fence that threatens its stability and could cause it to topple into the river if not fixed, experts told ProPublica and The Texas Tribune.
…The administration gave Fisher the billion-dollar contract in May to build additional stretches of the wall in Arizona, despite a lawsuit around the South Texas project and an ongoing audit by the Pentagon’s inspector general of a previous border wall contract that is looking into possible ‘inappropriate influence.’
…Six engineering and hydrology experts consulted by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune said that it was concerning to see the level of erosion around the fence so soon after construction and that it shouldn’t have been built so close to the river.