Actual Climbers Question Trump’s Claims That Pros Tested His Border Wall For Climbability
While touting some newly-constructed wall structure at the U.S.-Mexico border, President Donald Trump claimed that the final design for the project had gone through rigorous testing by actual professional mountain climbers.
“We had 20 mountain climbers,” Trump claimed, per reporting from the Washington Post. “That’s all they do. They love to climb mountains. They can have it. Me, I don’t want to climb mountains, but they’re very good. Some of them are champions. And we gave them different prototypes of walls and this one was hardest to climb.”
Trump’s claims are dubious, however, according to several mountain climbers who spoke candidly about their disbelief with The Daily Beast.
“I have never heard of any climbers ever being recruited to try and climb a border wall,” said USA Climbing Sport & Speed gold medalist Jesse Grupper.
“I absolutely have not heard of anyone testing sections of border wall,” said climber Kyra Condie, who is ranked second in the world for women boulderers.
Donald Trump says border wall was chosen after 20 mountain climbers tested it: "They love to climb mountains" https://t.co/iZt6gy3P74
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) September 22, 2019
Ross Fulkerson, the third-ranked mountain climber in the country, agreed. “Definitely no well-recognized U.S. climbers have taken part in something like that. I haven’t heard of any climbers ever helping out with testing,” he said.
Indeed, viral video that has become popular in social media the past week or so demonstrates that a similar design to the one being constructed by the Trump administration is climbable. Although not exactly the same model, a video from 2016 shows two climbers able to scale the same slate-styled wall that Trump has been touting, Mediaite reported over the weekend.
Other claims by Trump about the border wall could be deemed questionable. The president, for example, said that the wall was designed to be nearly untouchable by human hands.
“It’s designed to absorb heat, so it’s extremely hot. The wall is, you won’t be able to touch it, you can fry an egg on that wall,” Trump told reporters recently.
Minutes after making that claim, Trump autographed a segment of the border wall, with bare hands, suffering no observable burns while doing so.