Top border official admits the Trump administration has built ZERO new sections of border wall

The head of Customs and Border Protection told reporters Thursday that the Trump administration has still not completed construction of a single mile of new border wall.

Acting CBP chief Mark Morgan fielded questions about the wall from the White House briefing room, where the new press secretary has yet to hold a briefing for the press.

When asked about how many miles of border wall had been constructed where there had previously not been a wall, Morgan that ’78 miles of new wall has been built.’

Acting Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan acknowledged the Trump administration had constructed no new border wall there wasn't already a barrier. He said 78 miles of wall has replaced existing barriers

Acting Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection Mark Morgan acknowledged the Trump administration had constructed no new border wall there wasn’t already a barrier. He said 78 miles of wall has replaced existing barriers

A reporter then pressed him on how much wall has been constructed where there was previously ‘no wall whatsoever.’ Morgan provided his own definition of ‘new.’

‘My response to that is every mile of wall that’s being built is a new mile of wall,’ Morgan said. 

However he then acknowledged that the wall he was describing was actually border wall that was constructed where there was already an inferior wall in place. 

‘Right now the 78 miles that have been built have been built where there was an existing form of barrier. We just started breaking ground’ in the Rio Grande Valley sector, he said, ‘where we’re building miles of new wall where there has been no structure there at all. ‘

The new barrier, specially overseen by the president, is often substantially taller, consisting of steel bollards filled with concrete.  

President Donald Trump visits the US-Mexico border fence in Otay Mesa, California on September 18, 2019

President Donald Trump visits the US-Mexico border fence in Otay Mesa, California on September 18, 2019

A razor-wire-covered border wall separates Nogalas, Mexico, at left, and Nogales, Ariz. Saturday, March 2, 2019

A razor-wire-covered border wall separates Nogalas, Mexico, at left, and Nogales, Ariz. Saturday, March 2, 2019

Morgan also defended his 'acting' capacity, where he has not been required to obtain the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate

Morgan also defended his ‘acting’ capacity, where he has not been required to obtain the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate

Recently-installed "Bollard" style fencing is pictured on the US-Mexico border near Santa Teresa, New Mexico, on April 30, 2019

Recently-installed “Bollard” style fencing is pictured on the US-Mexico border near Santa Teresa, New Mexico, on April 30, 2019

He said the administration was ‘breaking new ground’ in the Rio Grande Valley sector, and spoke about wall that he said would be constructed by next year. 

‘We’re on track to get the land we need for 450 miles,’ he said. Although Morgan acknowledged there were problems with land acquisition and said ‘there are lawsuits out there.’

Morgan also defended his own status as ‘acting’ head of his agency, following the resignation of acting CBP chief John Sanders. Sanders left his post following revelations about overcrowding poor conditions at a Texas holding facility for migrant children. 

Morgan, like Sanders, serves on an ‘acting’ basis – meaning he has not been forced to make it through the Senate confirmation process, which involves a level of vetting and disclosure.

‘The fact that I have acting in front of my title it’s irrelevant,’ he said Thursday. 

‘I’m trying to do the best I can to get the resources for the men and women of CBP,’ he said. 

‘I’m here to serve the president of the United States in whatever capacity I can best serve,’ he said. 

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