Donald Trump alleged on Friday that former presidents have admitted to him that they regret not constructing a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. Trump’s claims, of course, come without evidence, Politico reports.
When asked if Clinton told Trump he should have built the wall, Clinton spokesman Angel Ureña told Politico, “He did not. In fact, they’ve not talked since the inauguration.”
Bush spokesman Freddy Ford had a similar story, that the two hadn’t spoken about the issue. And besides briefly speaking at George H.W. Bush’s funeral in November, Obama, also hasn’t spoken to Trump since his inauguration, per Politico.
Obama has been an open opponent of Trump’s wall. “Suggesting that we can build an endless wall along our borders, and blame our challenges on immigrants—that doesn’t just run counter to our history as the world’s melting pot, it contradicts the evidence that our growth and our innovation and our dynamism has always been spurred by our ability to attract strivers from every corner of the globe,” Obama said in 2016.
Trump’s remarks arrived during an appearance in the White House Rose Garden, where he maintained that he wouldn’t reopen the government until Democrats give in and approve a budget for the wall, to the tune of over $5 billion.
“This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me and they all know it,” Trump said. “Some of them have told me that we should have done it.”
Trump has a knack for exaggerating the truth and spreading falsities. Fact-checkers have pinpointed thousands of bogus claims since Trump became president.
“I think it's well-known that the incumbent president is very careless with the truth,” former president Carter said last year in an interview with CBS News. “I think I went through my campaign and my presidency without ever lying to the people or making a deliberately false statement, and I think that would be a very worthwhile thing to reinsert into politics these days," he continued.
A fence already exists along the U.S.-Mexico border, some of which was built in the 1990s. More was constructed after then-president George W. Bush signed a 2006 border security bill; construction continued into the Obama administration. Hundreds of miles of border fencing remain.