Saturday, January 19, 2019 | ePaper

Trump says ex-presidents wanted border wall. 4 of them say it's not true

  • Print


Trump and ex-Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter at funeral service for George HW Bush. AP file photo

The Washington Post :
President Donald Trump during a lengthy appearance in the White House's Rose Garden on Friday that predecessors told him they wanted a wall on the United States' border with Mexico. He said so in the midst of an extended soliloquy about the border wall for which he has yet to find funding or widespread political support.
The government is shut down over the president's demand that Congress allocate $5.7 billion for the wall. "This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me," Trump said. "And they all know it. Some of them have told me that we should have done it."
Trump has made 7,600 false or misleading statements since he became president, and some have proved more difficult than others to fact-check. This one was not. There are only four living ex-presidents. The Washington Post reached out to them to see whether they told Trump that a border wall should have been built before he was in office: All said they hadn't. A spokesman for former President George H.W. Bush declined to comment, saying it was too soon for Bush, who died in November, to be "dragged into such debates."
Eric Schultz, a spokesman for former President Barack Obama, pointed to past remarks in which Obama spoke critically about Trump's idea for the wall.
"Suggesting that we can build an endless wall along our borders, and blame our challenges on immigrants - that doesn't just run counter to our history as the world's melting pot; it contradicts the evidence that our growth and our innovation and our dynamism has always been spurred by our ability to attract strivers from every corner of the globe," Obama said at Rutgers University in 2016. "That's how we became America. Why would we want to stop it now?"
It is true that border walls hold a special place in former President George W. Bush's legacy. The Secure Fence Act, which he signed into law, paved the way for 700 miles of fences along stretches of the border. But spokesman Freddy Ford told reporters that Bush had not discussed the wall with Trump.
Angel Urena, a spokesman for former President Bill Clinton, said Clinton had never told Trump that a border wall should have been built. "He has not," Urena said. "In fact, they've not talked since the inauguration."
Former President Jimmy Carter has been known as a humanitarian in the more than 35 years since he was the nation's executive. On Monday, the Carter Center, his nonprofit at Emory University, released a statement from him saying he had never spoken to Trump about the issue - nor would he have encouraged him on the wall if he had.

More News For this Category

Human diet causing ‘catastrophic’ damage to planet: Study

Human diet causing ‘catastrophic’ damage to planet: Study

AFP, Paris :The way humanity produces and eats food must radically change to avoid millions of deaths and "catastrophic" damage to the planet, according to a landmark study published

Top judge sworn in as Pakistan's SC Chief Justice, pledges reform

Top judge sworn in as Pakistan's SC Chief Justice, pledges reform

AP, Islamabad  : A top Pakistani judge has been sworn in as the country's new chief justice of the Supreme Court at a ceremony attended by President Arif Alvi, Prime

Modi's pre-election handouts to cost India billions, breach fiscal targets

Modi's pre-election handouts to cost India billions, breach fiscal targets

Reuters, New Delhi :A series of vote-catching measures planned by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he braces for a difficult general election may cost more than 1 trillion

Rigging polls was at the direction of  Trump, says ex-Lawyer

Rigging polls was at the direction of Trump, says ex-Lawyer

Reuters,  Washington :Michael Cohen, US President Donald Trump's former personal lawyer, said on Thursday he paid a firm to manipulate online polling data "at the direction of and for

News In Brief

Vietnam 'willing' to host Trump-Kim summitAFP, Hanoi Vietnam's premier has said his country is willing to host a much-anticipated second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean

US 'jihadist' sought to attack White House: FBI

US 'jihadist' sought to attack White House: FBI

AFP, Washington :Authorities in the US state of Georgia have arrested a 21-year-old man who sought to buy explosives and an anti-tank rocket for a "jihad" suicide attack on

Taiwan holds live-fire exercises following China threats

Taiwan holds live-fire exercises following China threats

AP, Hsinchu :Taiwan held live-fire exercises along its east coast Thursday amid renewed threats from China to bring the island under its control by force if deemed necessary.Artillery and assault

'Stupid' to suggest Trump a Russian agent: Putin's top aide

'Stupid' to suggest Trump a Russian agent: Putin's top aide

AFP, Moscow :A top Kremlin aide on Wednesday dismissed as ridiculous claims that US President Donald Trump has acted as an agent for Russia amid mounting controversy over his alleged

Vietnam prepares for Kim Jong Un visit amid talks of second summit with Trump

Vietnam prepares for Kim Jong Un visit amid talks of second summit with Trump

Reuters, Hanoi  :Hanoi is preparing to receive North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a state visit, two sources told Reuters, while officials and diplomats said Vietnam is keen to

Sudan protests rumble on as Bashir remains defiant

Sudan protests rumble on as Bashir remains defiant

AFP, Khartoum :One month after protests erupted across Sudan against rising bread prices, anti-government demonstrations have turned into daily rallies against a defiant President Omar al-Bashir who has rejected calls