During a roundtable discussion with law enforcement officials in McAllen, Texas, on Friday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agent Melissa Lucio showed President Trump how enterprising border crossers have dug elaborate tunnels under walled off sections of the U.S.-Mexico border, unintentionally debunking the president’s case for a border wall.
“Here, this is just a couple of miles from where we stand,” Lucio explained.
“This is a tunnel,” she said, pointing to a photograph of the tunnel. “This is the second tunnel recently that we have located. This is an area that we actually have wall.”
Border agent accidentally debunks #Trump’s case for a #borderwall: “Here, this is just a couple of miles from where we stand. This is a #tunnel. This is the second tunnel recently that we have located. This is an area that we actually have wall.” pic.twitter.com/sOXDdxKBSV
— GuardiansOfDemocracy (@Guardemocracy) January 11, 2019
Trump traveled to the border this week as the government shutdown over his demand for more than $5 billion dollars to build a wall along the border continued into day 20.
The president later suggested that the wall is “medieval” but not as old as a “wheel.”
“They say a wall is medieval. Well, so is a wheel. A wheel is older than a wall,” Trump said to scattered laughter.
“And I looked, and every single car out there, even the really expensive ones that the Secret Service uses, and believe me they are expensive, I said, ‘Do they all have wheels?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Oh. I thought it was medieval,’” he added.
“The wheel is older than the wall, you know that? And there are some things that work, you know what? A wheel works, and a wall works. Nothing like a wall,” Trump concluded.
"They say a wall is medieval—well, so is a wheel," Pres. Trump says at meeting near southern border. "A wheel is older than a wall."
— ABC News (@ABC) January 10, 2019
As to the president’s claim that the wheel is older than the wall, USA Today notes that the first known walls used in civilization to enclose a city was the Wall of Jericho, a settlement that has been traced back to about 9000 B.C., according to Britannica. “The first wheel, however, is traced back to about 3500 B.C., thousands of years after walls, meaning the president was incorrect in his statements.”
And as to Trump’s claim that medieval walls worked, The Washington Post had a scholar of medieval history debunk his claim.