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Political Editors / January 19, 2018

A Literal Border Wall?

The Leftmedia seeks to suggest Trump has moved away from his campaign promise on the subject.

With President Donald Trump having just trotted out his “awards” for fake news, the mainstream media was again on the lookout for an opportunity to discredit him with his base. A seeming opportunity arose after a meeting between Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. The Washington Post reported that Kelly told the CHC that Trump had not been “fully informed” on the logistics of building a literal 2,000 mile border wall, and that the Mexican government would not be paying for the wall. Later Wednesday evening in an interview on Fox News, Kelly seemed to acknowledge the accuracy of the Post’s account, while he repeatedly praised Trump for his “flexibility.”

Thursday morning, Trump responded with a series of tweets in which he re-emphasized his commitment to building the border wall and having Mexico pay for it. Uh oh, is Trump clashing with Kelly? Is Trump changing his stance on immigration and securing the border? While the MSM would love for this to be the case, it’s far from it.

There is no doubt that Kelly has brought much-needed order to the White House, specifically regarding messaging consistency. What Kelly is doing here is clearing up misperceptions rather than suggesting any policy changes. Regarding the wall, Trump has been pretty consistent in saying he is not looking for a literal 2,000 mile physical barrier. Trump’s wall is the promise of a serious lasting commitment to finally secure America’s southern border, via a physical wall where needed, as well as increased Border Patrol and other measures where geography prohibits an actual wall. Trump has not backed off this campaign commitment, even though the MSM would love to convince his base that he has. As columnist Salena Zito observed during the 2016 campaign, “The press takes him literally, but not seriously; his supporters take him seriously, but not literally.”

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