Trump stresses 'demolition and rebuilding' after report of slow border wall construction

BY JOHN BOWDEN - 05/22/19 07:58 AM EDT 496


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President Trump early Wednesday touted efforts by his administration to demolish and rebuild sections of existing fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border amid reports of slow progress in construction efforts.
In a pair of tweets, the president wrote that "haters" would paint the work along the border as merely a "renovation" and called such rebuilding efforts "tremendous."
"Much of the Wall being built at the Southern Border is a complete demolition and rebuilding of old and worthless barriers with a brand new Wall and footings. Problem is, the Haters say that is not a new Wall, but rather a renovation. Wrong, and we must build where most needed," Trump wrote.
"Also, tremendous work is being done on pure renovation — fixing existing Walls that are in bad condition and ineffective, and bringing them to a very high standard!" he added in a second tweet.
The president's tweets follow a report from Bloomberg News, which was featured prominently on the conservative Drudge Report, that found that approximately 1.7 miles of fencing has been completed along the border since the president declared a national emergency earlier this year in an attempt to reallocate funds to his project for a wall after failing to win congressional funding.
The distance constructed so far is just three-fourths of a mile more than what the administration reported at the end of February, according to the news outlet.
"The administration recently provided updated information to Congress on the status of its efforts as of April 30, 2019," attorney Douglas Letter reportedly said in a court filing this week. "Based on that updated information, it appears that CBP has now constructed 1.7 miles of fencing with its fiscal year 2018 funding."
A lawsuit currently involving California and 20 other states is seeking to halt the construction of Trump's border wall in an effort to protect endangered species that live along the U.S-Mexico border.
It also accuses Trump of allocating the money for the project illegally, instead of using traditional methods to fund legislative priorities through Congress.
“Notwithstanding the president’s expressed frustration with Congress and the legislative process, he must act in accordance with the procedures established in the Constitution to obtain funding for his border wall,” the states' filing reads.