President Donald Trump has a very specific vision for his proposed border wall with Mexico — paint it black, and put sharp spikes on the top, according to a new report.
The “wall” will in fact be a steel bollard fence and not a concrete barrier as Trump had promised since his campaign days — and although he’s OK with that, he’s been quite bold in laying out his guidelines, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
The New York Post Reports:
The bollards — which the president refers to as “slats” — should be painted “flat black” so they would absorb heat in the summer, rendering them too hot for anyone attempting to climb the fence, Trump recently told White House aides, Homeland Security officials and military engineers, according to the report.
Trump is unwavering on that front — despite warnings that painting the barrier would escalate construction costs and maintenance budgets.
“Once you paint it, you always have to paint it,” an administration official told the paper.
The president has also rejected a design that depicted the fence topped by a rounded-barrel-like metal cylinder to prevent climbing, a former official told the outlet. He’s approved designs that include a flat-panel anti-climbing surface that has been field-tested, but he’s not entirely happy with those either, according to the report.
He prefers a barrier with sharp spikes, that would appear more intimidating.
The metal spikes would cut through the hands of climbers and do a better job of deterring them, Trump told a group of aides, according to the report.
He’s also been known to change his mind about the height of the fence, insisting that it be as tall as possible — though engineers have raised concerns about the expense, and the structural integrity, officials told the outlet.
Specifically, his request that the wall be a staggering 30 feet — much taller than the 15- to 18-foot range Customs and Border Protection officials previously agreed to — led to a significant alteration in the design.
He’s also demanded that the structure not only be intimidating for climbers, but pleasing to the eye.
“He thinks it’s ugly,” another administration official familiar with Trump’s opinions told the paper.
Trump sees himself as a builder, but his level of building knowledge can only go so far, former Homeland Security official David Lapan told the paper.
“But building high-rises in New York City is not the same as putting up a barrier at the border,” said Lapan, who now serves as the vice president of communications at the Bipartisan Policy Center. “You’re not looking for aesthetics; you’re looking for functionality.”
From The New York Post