In a series of tweets Friday excoriating a recent Washington Post “Fact Checker” column downplaying the rate of President Donald Trump’s border wall construction, Rep. Raúl Grijalva laid out why the article and similar gotcha attempts are “dangerous.”
Grijalva, an Arizona Democrat whose district borders Mexico, was responding to a piece by Post reporter Salvador Rizzo which gave the president three “Pinocchios” for claiming that the wall was under construction when, Rizzo said, the fact is that the administration is simply replacing older sections of existing wall with new fencing instead of building 1,000 miles of promised new barrier.
“Replacing a fence with a 30-foot structure covered in double razor wire and topped with floodlights qualifies as new construction no matter where it happens,” tweeted Grijalva. “This is not a time to tell ourselves that Trump is losing. This is being built as we speak.”
Grijalva also pointed to a worrying tendency in the media to take short-term, technical victories over Trump while disregarding the reality of the administration’s policies and its victims.
“The idea that this doesn’t count as ‘new wall,’ and therefore there’s nothing to see here, is dangerous and leads to complacency,” said Grijalva. “Thumbing our noses at Trump is no substitute for on-the-ground reporting.”
And, the lawmaker said, it’s important to remember what the wall means.
“This is an intentional symbol of hate and fear, not a security measure,” said Grijalva.
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