President Donald Trump’s often-touted “border wall” has recently been referred to as “beautiful steel slats” by the president, a “beaded curtain” by California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, “semantics” by White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, and “not a wall” by outgoing White House chief of staff John Kelly. Finally, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on Sunday that the wall was nothing more than a “metaphor” for border security.
“The wall has become a metaphor for border security,” Graham spelled out in remarks at the White House. “What we’re talking about is a physical barrier where it makes sense. There’s nothing wrong with a physical barrier along the border where it makes sense.”
“I’m not spending $30 billion on a metaphor,” one Twitter critic responded.
Kelly conceded the point to the Los Angeles Times in an interview published Sunday: “To be honest, it’s not a wall.” The White House abandoned the concept of a “solid concrete wall early on in the administration,” he said.
After Trump began pushing his “artistically designed” steel slat fence this month, incoming House majority leader Pelosi quipped that the “wall” had become a “beaded curtain.”
Graham’s use of the term “metaphor” might be a strategy to give the president a way out of his ultimatum to Congress, which was to give him billions of dollars for his wall or he won’t sign a spending bill to reopen the government. A metaphor could be an easier target for a compromise.
But someone should tell Trump a “wall” no longer appears to be in the plans. He just tweeted Sunday that a “ten-foot wall” around Barack and Michelle’s Obama’s home is what he has in mind for the entire southern border.
As of early last year, fencing and other barriers lined nearly 700 miles of the 2,000-mile southern border, which Graham pointed out has already cost billions of dollars.
Trump earlier this month declared in a tweet that “our southern border is now secure” — without a wall — “and will remain that way.”