On Thursday's edition of MSNBC's "The Beat," Ari Melber confronted Marc Lotter, a campaign official with President Donald Trump's 2020 efforts, on his broken promise to make Mexico pay for the wall. Lotter's response was to insist that Mexico was, in fact, paying for a wall — sort of.
"Donald Trump assured everyone, including his base, he says is going to be key, he promised them one thing about the wall. You know what it is. He promised them that somebody else would pay for it," said Melber, playing clip after clip of Trump saying Mexico would pay. "As president, Donald Trump has fought hard, shut down the government, and even used executive powers to seize funds to make Americans pay for the wall. Do you think that's sort of the toughest broken promise for the re-election campaign?"
"No, absolutely not," said Lotter. "Right now, Mexico is doing more to secure our border than the United States Congress and led by Democrats in the House of Representatives."
"They're not paying for the wall," said Melber.
"They are paying for it, by sending 6,000 troops to protect the border to protect their southern border," replied Lotter.
"Them sending their military places is not them paying for the wall," said Melber. "Donald Trump promised Americans that, particularly those MAGA supporters, you're not going to have to pay for the wall, he's making them pay for the wall. Is your closing argument on that, it's okay, it's a broken promise, he didn’t fulfill everything, or is your closing argument on that a boldfaced lie, claiming Mexico is paying for the wall which you know is false?"
"The wall is being built. 400 miles of it will be done next year," said Lotter. "When you look at the amount of money Mexico is paying to keep asylum seekers on their side of the border rather than the U.S. border, they’re providing them education, they're providing health care, they're sending their troops down to their southern border, and they are patrolling their transit lines up to the north to try to stop these caravans. Mexico is paying a lot for our southern security."
"But not the wall," said Melber.
"I would call it a virtual wall," said Lotter.