President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign was centered on one grand campaign promise: he would build a massive wall along the entire southern border of the nation, and its construction would be completely paid for by Mexico. Three years later, almost no construction has happened and Mexico has repeatedly made it clear that it will not be paying a cent.
On Thursday, Trump’s dear friends on Fox & Friends finally admitted what has been obvious for years: this was an empty claim, a broken promise, and a huge failure on the part of Trump.
The show’s famously pro-Trump hosts made the admission that Mexico is never paying for the wall in a segment highlighting the administration’s plan to unilaterally divert $3.6 billion in funds from 127 defense programs to begin major construction.
Noting that the wall was Trump’s “most prominent campaign promise,” co-host Ainsley Earhardt observed that the administration faces a choice between military projects and building up to 500 miles of the wall — far less than what Trump promised to build as a candidate.
Co-host Brian Kilmeade slammed “sensationalist headlines” but, when addressing one noting that Trump’s new plan “lets Mexico off the hook” for paying, he conceded: “He’s right. The president never should have said Mexico was gonna pay for the wall.”
Co-host Steve Doocy then attempted to defend Trump, suggesting that perhaps the president thought he would get Mexico to pay for the wall but was just mistaken.
“I think he thought he would find a way for Mexico to pay for it, but as we know that did not work.”
Earhardt then noted that the money for Trump’s wall would now come from money that would have gone to things including a middle school at Fort Campbell, child development centers at Joint Base Andrews, and a fire station in Beaufort, South Carolina.
Doocy then suggested that if Congress decides to appropriate more money to go to those previously funded and now raided programs, they could save the projects. In other words, rather than cut spending, the co-host thinks the solution is for them to appropriate the same $3.6 billion to the same programs twice.
In February 2016, Trump said that Mexico would be “very happy about” paying for the wall. “I’ll talk to them. They’re going to be thrilled to be paying for the wall. We’re going to be the smart people. We’re not going to be the people that get pushed around all over the place, we’re going to be the smart people.”
In April 2016, Trump vowed the wall would be done by now: “I would say it’ll be complete within two years from the time we start. We’ll start quickly. We’ll start quickly. And it’ll be a real wall. It’ll be a real wall.”
On another occasion, he said: “We’ll build a wall, I promise. I promise, we will build a wall. If there’s ever a second term, you’ll say, man, he got that wall built fast, we’re going to put him up. So we’ll see. We’ll build the wall.”
Though little to no progress has been made in building a new wall over the first three years of Trump’s administration, he has repeatedly lied claiming it was already well underway.