President Donald Trump’s White House communications team is claiming inaccurately that there is border wall funding in the spending bill before Congress right now. The move comes as the administration is facing political heat for the failure to obtain federal appropriations in the new omnibus spending bill to pay for the construction of a border wall, as President Trump promised on the campaign trail.
The latest controversy began with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer Tweeting out photos of a levee wall along the border and see-through border fence that illegal aliens and drug and human traffickers regularly cut through. Spicer argued, without calling any of them a “wall” like the one Trump promised on the campaign trail, that the president “just negotiated a spending deal where we can build these.” He explicitly did not call the photos a “border wall” on his Twitter account.
— Sean Spicer (@PressSec) May 2, 2017
Technically, Spicer’s Tweet is accurate. The spending bill, which funds the government until the end of the fiscal year, does account for the construction of levee walls and extra steel fencing, but that is far short of the president’s campaign promise of an actual border wall.
But what Spicer did next was highly problematic and potentially hurts President Trump’s efforts to succeed later in the year in delivering an actual border wall when the next spending bill comes up in September. Spicer directed one of his deputies, Lindsay Walters, to call Breitbart News and pitch the photos in Spicer’s Tweet as a “border wall.”