All four living former U.S. presidents are denying President Trump’s claim that “some” unspecified number of them “told him” he should build a wall on the southern border.
“This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me,” Trump said on Friday as the government shutdown over border-wall funding continued. “And they all know it. Some of them have told me that we should have done it.”
In rsponse, the Washington Post reported that former presidents Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama had all confirmed through spokespeople that they do not support a border wall.
“I have not discussed the border wall with President Trump, and do not support him on the issue,” Carter said in a statement provided by his Carter Center.
Obama spokesman Eric Shultz referred to Obama’s previous statements critical of the wall in his response.
The spokesman for Bush, Freddy Ford, said the former president never discussed the wall with Trump, although he did sign the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which approved 700 miles of border fencing.
“He has not,” said Clinton spokesman Angel Urena when asked whether the two presidents discussed a wall. “In fact, they’ve not talked since the inauguration.”
The partial government shutdown, precipitated by Trump’s insistence on funding for the construction of a wall, entered its 18th day on Tuesday. Trump has demanded $5.7 billion for the wall, while Democrats have refused to go above $1.6 billion for non-wall border security.