Donald Trump has spent the past two years stringing along his own racist base by telling them that it’s somebody else’s fault that his mythical border wall is still a myth. His base has hung in there with him accordingly. Yet now Trump has suddenly decided that he must immediately have a $5 billion down payment for the wall, and that nothing else matters, even as his definition of a “wall” has suddenly evolved into something oddly specific and weird. Can we just call this for what it is?
Why does Donald Trump specifically need $5 billion right now? By his own admission, building the wall will require at least $25 billion. If he just wants to get it started, he could do that with $4 billion or $3 billion, yet he hasn’t even made an attempt at negotiating the number with Congress. He could even try to convince Congress to take the existing $1.6 billion allocated for border security and reallocate it for the wall. He could get a good head start on his wall with $1.6 billion, fire up his base, and preemptively declare victory.
But Trump doesn’t want any of that. He wants precisely $5 billion, right now, or nothing at all. This clearly isn’t about immigration. It’s not even about pleasing his base with a wall, because he’s no longer looking to build a wall. Instead he’s decided that it needs to be a “steel slat barrier” which is a fancy way of saying a bunch of metal poles that aren’t quite a fence. He’s even posted a rendering of this monstrosity, which obviously came from a vendor.
It couldn’t be more obvious that Donald Trump has promised $5 billion to this mystery vendor, and that – given Trump’s nature as a career grifter – the vendor has agreed to somehow funnel a portion of that money back into Trump’s pocket. Maybe the deal has a December 31st deadline. Or maybe Trump is just trying to hurry up and cash in before he can be impeached. But either way, there is zero doubt that Trump is pushing this as part of a very specific financial scam. The mainstream media knows this. It’s time they start saying it. They have the resources to dig in and expose this. They need to do it accordingly.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report