Trump Wants A “Transparent” Border Wall To Prevent Injuries From Falling “Sacks Of Drugs” (Vanity Fair link): Construction on the wall Donald Trump made central to his presidential campaign—one that he repeatedly promised would run the length of the U.S.-Mexico border, geological and fiscal impossibilities be damned—has yet to begin, which might be a good thing, since Trump apparently has some new design notes for how he’d like the wall to be built.
Asked by reporters aboard Air Force One on Wednesday night about the wall, the president offered several perplexing new details about his plans and insisted that he was “not joking” about adding solar panels, a proposal he earnestly suggested would help cover the project’s estimated $21.6 billion cost. “There is a chance that we can do a solar wall,” Trump said. “We have major companies looking at that. Look, there’s no better place for solar than the Mexico border—the southern border. And there is a very good chance we can do a solar wall, which would actually look good. But there is a very good chance we could do a solar wall.”
Trump went on to say that the wall needs one thing: transparency. “You have to be able to see through it,” he explained. “In other words, if you can’t see through that wall—so it could be a steel wall with openings, but you have to have openings because you have to see what’s on the other side of the wall.”
The wall needs to be see-through, the president continued, because drug dealers may otherwise throw large bags of drugs over the wall to the other side, and hit innocent passers-by. “As horrible as it sounds, when they throw the large sacks of drugs over, and if you have people on the other side of the wall, you don’t see them—they hit you on the head with 60 pounds of stuff? It’s over,” he added. “As crazy as that sounds, you need transparency through that wall. But we have some incredible designs.”
Trump promised on the campaign trail that he would find a way to make Mexico pay for the wall. A new spending bill released by House Republicans this week proposes $1.6 billion to begin building the border wall. Mexico has no plans to pay for any wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, transparent or otherwise.
"Why is it lie after lie after lie?" Smith said to fellow anchor Chris Wallace. "The deception, Chris, is mind-boggling." What set Smith off was the latest development about a June 2016 meeting between Donald Trump Jr., Jared Kushner, former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort, and a Russian lawyer who reportedly offered dirt on then-presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Reports on Friday revealed there were more people in attendance than Trump originally acknowledged.
"We're still not clean on this, Chris. If there’s nothing there — and that’s what they tell us … If all of that, why all these lies?" an exasperated Smith said.
The reprimand was uncharacteristic coming from Fox News, which has been reliably positive in its coverage of the White House. Since news of the Trump Jr. meeting broke last week, pundits on the network have targeted their criticism at the media, President Obama, and Hillary Clinton herself.
"There are still people who are out there who believe we’re making it up," Smith said. "And one day they’re gonna realize we’re not and look around and go, Where are we, and why are we getting told all these lies?"
Dems mock Trump Jr with giant Time cover on the House floor — and read his emails into the Congressional Record (Raw Story link): Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) and Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) on Friday read the full contents of Donald Trump Jr.’s email chain on the House Floor, accompanied by a print of TIME magazine’s most recent cover, a photo of Trump’s eldest son superimposed with the words, “Red Handed.”
“Don. Jr.’s emails are a smoking gun,” Gallego told his colleagues at the House of Representatives. “They prove that the Trump campaign was not only aware of the Russian government’s efforts to meddle in our elections, they were enthusiastic about accepting Russian support.”
Reading out Trump Jr.’s statement which accompanied the email, Gallegos noted that despite the president’s son’s assurance that he was publishing the emails in the interest of transparency, “he wasn’t even in this email.” Recent reports indicate as many as eight people were present at the June 2016 meeting, though Trump Jr. originally indicated it was only himself, former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and a Russian lawyer, Natalia Veselnitskaya.
Referencing Trump Jr.’s response to finding out he would be obtaining information damaging to Hillary Clinton at the meeting, Gallegos tore into the president’s eldest son.
“Mr. Speaker: ‘I love it.’ His response was ‘I love it,’” Gallegos said. “I’ve worked in politics for a long time, I’ve never been approached with information from a foreign government. But if I was, my response would not be, ’I love it.’ My response would be, ‘this is completely inappropriate.’ My response would be, ‘don’t ever contact me again.’ My response would be, ‘I’m calling the FBI.’”
“In this email, Donald Trump Jr. showed his true colors,” he continued. “This email proves that he lacks basic integrity, and the willingness of Jared Kushner to attend that meeting proves that he, too, is no patriot.”
He and Lieu proceeded to read out the contents of the email, pausing at times to pepper the exchange with their own commentary. Noting Trump Jr.’s pledge to lock in a meeting with Veselnitskaya, Gallegos said, “that’s some eagerness that this man has for this information.”