AP FACT CHECK: Do ex-presidents back Trump wall? They say no
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump’s recent claim that his predecessors endorsed his idea of a wall at the Mexican border got no support from the ex-presidents’ club.
Trump stated in a Rose Garden news conference Friday: “This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me. And they all know it. Some of them have told me that we should have done it.”
THE FACTS: The four living ex-presidents do not back him up on this claim.
—“I have not discussed the border wall with President Trump, and do not support him on the issue,” said Jimmy Carter.
—“The answer is no,” said Angel Urena, speaking for Bill Clinton. “In fact, they’ve not talked since the inauguration.”
—George W. Bush has not discussed the wall with Trump, said spokesman Freddy Ford.
—Barack Obama’s office did not respond except to send along some of his past comments on the subject, such as this one from May 2016: “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.”
Since Trump’s inauguration, his only interaction with Obama was a quick exchange at President George H.W. Bush’s funeral.
Asked Tuesday about Trump’s claim of support for the wall from his predecessors, Vice President Mike Pence told NBC’s “Today” show, “I know the president has said that was his impression from previous presidents.”
Pence added: “I’ve seen clips of previous presidents talking about the importance of border security and the importance of addressing illegal immigration.”
Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report.
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