President Donald Trump has installed his son-in-law and West Wing advisor Jared Kushner as the project manager for the border wall following his frustration over the lack of progress, according to the Stamford Advocate.
“Kushner convenes biweekly meetings in the West Wing, where he questions an array of government officials about progress on the wall, including updates on contractor data, precisely where it will be built and how funding is being spent,” the publication reported. “He also shares and explains the president’s demands with the group, according to the officials familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal White House deliberations.”
The new head of operations is reportedly pressing U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to expedite the necessary legal steps to work on the wall on private land in hopes of reaching the president’s goal of putting up erecting 450 miles of barriers along the U.S.-Mexico border by the end of 2020. According to the Advocate, “More than 800 filings to seize private property will need to be made in the coming months if the government is going to succeed, officials said.”
Trump is under intense scrutiny as he heads into the 2020 election cycle, and that is compounded by the fact that the wall, one of his cornerstone promises in the 2016 election, is not as far along as many hoped it would be. In fact, just weeks ago Red Blue Divide reported that acting CBP chief Mark Morgan told reporters that the Trump administration has not completed any new sections of border wall since their project began, according to The DailyMail.
“When asked about how many miles of border wall had been constructed where there had previously not been a wall, Morgan that “78 miles of new wall has been built,” the DailyMail reported.
When asked further if there was any wall where there had previously been none, Morgan confirmed that there was “no wall whatsoever” that fir the definition of “new.”
“My response to that is every mile of wall that’s being built is a new mile of wall,” Morgan said, but went on to clarify that he was referencing where deteriorating wall
“Right now the 78 miles that have been built where there was an existing form of barrier. We just started breaking ground” in the Rio Grande Valley sector, he said, “where we’re building miles of new wall where there has been no structure there at all.”
Acting Customs and Border Protection commissioner Mark Morgan admits 70 miles of 'new' wall is replacing old barriers. pic.twitter.com/oK3TlqbZV4
— Luis Velarde (@luivelarde) November 14, 2019
Written by Savannah Pointer.