President Donald Trump inspects part of the border wall in Arizona on June 23, 2020. A section in Texas has come under scrutiny for construction flaws. | Evan Vucci/AP Photo
Saying it was done to embarrass him, President Donald Trump on Sunday said a reportedly defective section of his new border wall should not have been built by a private company.
ProPublica and the Texas Tribune reported Thursday that a segment of the wall along the Texas-Mexico border was showing dangerous “signs of erosion“ only months after being completed. The section was constructed by Fisher Industries of North Dakota, whose owner called the design a “Lamborghini.” It cost $42 million.
“I disagreed,” Trump Tweeted Sunday, “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 it now doesn’t even work. Should have been built like rest of Wall, 500 plus miles.“ (The misspelling of “perhaps” was part of the tweet.)
Trump subsequently tweeted: “We have now built 240 Miles of new Border Wall on our Southern Border. We will have over 450 Miles built by the end of the year. Have established some of the best Border Numbers ever.“
The ProPublica-Texas Tribune report spotlighted a section in the Rio Grande Valley with apparently severe structural issues: “Six engineering and hydrology experts consulted by ProPublica and The Texas Tribune said it was concerning to see the level of erosion around the fence so soon after construction and added that segments of Fisher’s steel structure could topple into the river if not fixed.“
Critics have argued that Trump has exaggerated the amount of wall that has been built along the border, saying much of it is merely the replacing of existing fencing.