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Trump just denied telling his team to break the law to build the wall before next election and offering pardons

Trump just denied telling his team to break the law to build the wall before next election and offering pardons

Smoke, mirrors, and lies haven’t helped Donald Trump build his long-promised wall, but that hasn’t stopped him from continuing to weave a fantasy world where the “The Wall is going up very fast despite total Obstruction by Democrats in Congress, and elsewhere!” as he tweeted this morning.

Trump attached a video featuring majestic music and a slow pivot along a single small section of newly rebuilt wall to try to make it look like progress on his signature campaign promise had been made, but the reality is that the promise included Mexico paying for the wall — a prospect that hasn’t and will never happen.

Moreover, another blow to the president’s gaslighting over the progress on the wall came from the objective reality of what actually has been done with the taxpayer money redirected from other federal agencies against the express direction of Congress, as Seung Min Kim, the White House reporter for The Washington Post, pointed out in a reply to Trump’s tweet.

Yes, the president has managed to replace a few dilapidated sections of the border fencing with brand spanking new fencing, but the truth remains that there are 2000 miles left to go two and a half years into Trump’s presidency.

No wonder that an angry Trump has urged his aides to use eminent domain to seize the necessary land on the border from private owners in order to speed up his project in his dwindling time left in office, according to The Washington Post.

According to officials who attended meetings with the president about the wall, he told them to “just take the land” and consequences be damned.

“Don’t worry, I’ll pardon you,” he told the officials.

Despite the leaks from White House insiders about the president’s conspiratorial offer, Trump denies the story as “Fake News” although the sheer number of his daily lies leaves his protestations with little credibility.

The president wants the wall completed by the next election, naturally, and, in a nod to the Rolling Stones — whose music he plays at his campaign rallies against the band’s explicit wishes — he wants it painted black, a color that his many Twitter detractors would say matches his soul.

According to an internal Army Corps of Engineers analysis, painting or coating 175 miles of barriers “will add between $70 million and $133 million in cost,” limiting the amount of fencing the Army Corps will be able to install by four to seven miles.

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According to The Post:

“During a conference call last week, officials at U.S. Customs and Border Protection told Army Corps engineers that the hundreds of miles of fencing must be completed before the next presidential election, according to administration officials with knowledge of the call who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe internal communications.”

“’Border Patrol insists on compressed acquisition timelines, and we consent. Their goal is to get contracts awarded, not for us to get a quality contract with a thoroughly vetted contractor,’ said one senior official who is concerned the agency has been hurried to hand out contracts as quickly as possible.”

The hasty procurement and construction schedules have already caused problems for the Army Corps of Engineers on two contracts and have caused contractors to ignore environmental impact studies and procedural protections in the sensitive border areas close to U.S. national parks and wildlife preserves at the administration’s directive.

“They don’t care how much money is spent, whether landowners’ rights are violated, whether the environment is damaged, the law, the regs or even prudent business practices,” one senior official lamented.

The operative phrase in that quote is “they don’t care” — at least about anything but ensuring that Trump’s campaign promise is fulfilled, something the president sees as a necessity for his reelection, and by extension, the only way that he will prevent himself from being indicted the minute he leaves office.

No wonder Trump is rushing the construction efforts so much. Just don’t believe that the impetus comes from anything other than self-preservation.

Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter

Original reporting by Nick Miroff

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