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Sean Spicer's 'It's A Wall Not A Fence' Argument Was Quite Something To Behold

Alternative walls.

04/05/2017 13:27 BST | Updated 04/05/2017 16:18 BST

Sean Spicer spent five minutes of a White House press briefing yesterday trying to redefine what a wall is.

In a presentation on border security, the Press Secretary conducted a show and tell in which he exhibited images of the current decrepit defences on the US-Mexico border.

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Are these walls or fences?

He declared: “This is what exists right now throughout our country.

“You see a place where cars can literally create little things and drive over.

“You’ve got places that can get burrowed under. That one they’ve created. That one doesn’t seem to be effective at keeping people in it.”

Donald Trump has long-promised a “big, beautiful wall” but Spicer’s next slides of what is to be built left some reporters a little baffled.

He said: “We have a porous border right now with broken fences, things that can be cut through, places that can just literally be driven over.

“And to replace this with a 20ft high bollard wall will protect our country, something that the DHS [Department of Homeland Security] has designated the most effective way to do this.”

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None of these are walls either.

The pictures prompted one reporter to ask: “Just one question about those photos - are those fences or walls?”

Spicer, pointing to his pictures, said: “That is called a bollard wall, that is called a levy wall.”

The reporter, sounding slightly incredulous then asked if this was the wall Trump had promised.

Spicer replied: “There are various types of wall that can be built, under the legislation that was just passed, it allows us to do that.”

Another reporter then asked: “What is that?”

At this point Spicer became visibly irate: “That is called a levy wall on the left - that is called a bollard wall.”

“So that’s not a wall, it’s a levy wall?”, came the reply.

Spicer said: “That’s what it’s actually called. That’s the name of it.”

A reporter then summed up the presentation, saying: “But you’re building fencing, not walls.” 

The Trump administration is seeking to defend its budget compromise with Congress, saying it’s a start to President Trump’s promise to build a “big, beautiful wall” at the Mexican border.

But it claims more than the deal really provides, reports the Associated Press

The deal to keep the government running through September doesn’t have money to build any new fencing or walls along the roughly 2,000-mile (3,218-kilometer) border with Mexico. The deal does provide $772 million for border security, money that can be used for repairs to existing fencing or vehicle barriers that spread across just over 650 miles (1,046 kilometers) in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Most of the existing fencing and barriers were built under the Bush administration as part of the 2006 Secure Fence Act, though some of the construction was completed by the Obama administration.