- President Donald Trump is reportedly telling people to stop calling it a “border wall” and use the term “steel slats” instead.
- Trump met with top Republicans on Thursday and spent at least five minutes telling them that “steel slats” will be a more popular phrase, according to The Washington Post.
- Trump even implied on Thursday that more Democrats might be on board to grant him his requested $5 billion in border-wall funding if it’s called “steel slats” instead.
President Donald Trump reportedly spent at least five minutes in a meeting with top Republicans on Thursday, trying to convince them to refer to the border wall as “steel slats” because he believes the phrase will be more popular.
According to The Washington Post, Trump met with House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy in the Oval Office, where he went on an unexpected, six- or seven-minute tangent on how best to market the barrier he wants to place along the US-Mexico border.
Trump had originally called the meeting to insist that they pass a spending bill including at least $5 billion in wall funding. The Republican-controlled House later passed a continuing resolution that included $5.7 billion for border security, sending it back to the Senate, where it is almost certain to fail.
- Reuters/Jose Luis Gonzalez
But Trump, who has promised since 2015 to build a “wall,” has in recent days taken to promoting the bollard-style fencing that has been erected in areas like Santa Teresa, New Mexico; San Diego, California; and the Rio Grande Valley in Texas.
He said Thursday at the White House that calling it “steel slats” would give his Democratic critics in Congress “a little bit of an out” to vote for the $5 billion funding.
“We don’t use the word ‘wall’ necessarily, but it has to be something special to do the job – steel slats,” he said.
Trump has even been demanding for days that people should “stop calling it a wall,” The Post’s Josh Dawsey reported.
- Kevin Lamarque/Reuters
Earlier this week, Trump even clarified on Twitter that his administration is not building a “Concrete Wall,” but “artistically designed steel slats, so that you can easily see through it.”
The wall Trump has envisioned has evolved significantly over time. During his presidential campaign he often said he wanted the wall to be made of “hardened concrete” and “rebar,” but upon taking office he began describing it as “see-through” so that Americans wouldn’t be hit by sacks of drugs catapulted overtop.
The eight border wall prototypes erected in San Diego last year are made from a mix of materials, two of which do feature slat-like components.
- Read more of INSIDER’s immigration coverage:
- ICE wrongly flagged an American citizen to be deported, so a Florida sheriff’s department detained him for weeks. Now he’s suing.
- Trump’s travel ban barred a Yemeni mother from seeing her dying son, and the US State Department just granted her a waiver to enter the US
- The 7-year-old migrant girl who died in Border Patrol custody received medical care 90 minutes after first showing symptoms
- The Trump administration edited a bizarre press release about Trump’s border wall after people roasted it