The Associated Press collected a series of statements from White House officials and allies to President Donald Trump, and one thing seems remarkably consistent: the wall isn't actually going to be a wall.
While the president has proclaimed to his supporters it would be a "big, beautiful wall," he's begun slipping in that pledge. First, the president attempted to say the wall was already being built.
The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built.— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1505384458.0
When that didn't work, he tried to say that it was fine if the wall was actually a fence. For supporters who spent rallies chanting, "build that fence" isn't what they might recall.
But the new comments that emerged this weekend that revealed it might not even be the fence prototype Trump tweeted.
A design of our Steel Slat Barrier which is totally effective while at the same time beautiful! https://t.co/sGltXh0cu9— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1545430454.0
Trump gave up on “a solid concrete wall early on in the administration," said chief of staff John Kelly in a Los Angeles Times exit-interview.
“There may be a wall in some places, there may be steel slats, there may be technological enhancements," Kellyanne Conway backtracked during an appearance on Fox News.
But the worst came when Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) confessed the wall wasn't really going to be any wall at all.
“The wall has become a metaphor for border security.” He said it could just be “a physical barrier along the border," he said.
Democratic House Leader Nancy Pelosi mocked the White House before Christmas, saying that they've caved so much, essentially the wall is nothing more than a beaded curtain. She's not far off as the president has claimed an "aesthetically pleasing" barrier of some sort.
It's unclear if the GOP will eventually promise of a kind of holistic wall, a line drawn in the sand by the boots of the border patrol or even a screen with a picture of a wall on it. Whatever it ends up being, it is a far cry from the 2016 and 2018 rally chants of Trump supporters.
In August 2015, former Gov. Jeb Bush needled Trump's proposal calling it a fence. Trump clarified in a tweet:
“Jeb Bush just talked about my border proposal to build a ‘fence,’” he swore. “It’s not a fence, Jeb, it’s a WALL, and there’s a BIG difference!”
Jeb Bush just talked about my border proposal to build a "fence." It's not a fence, Jeb, it's a WALL, and there's a BIG difference!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1440506341.0
Clearly, there's no longer much of a difference to the president. If he slips in his promise any further, Trump might start trying to say he never promised a wall.