White House report smacks down Trump's favorite excuse for the wall

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Unlike Trump, the White House National Drug Control Strategy doesn't say that a border wall will help tackle issues like the opioid epidemic.

The Trump administration released its first official drug control strategy Thursday — and not once does it suggest that building a border wall might help curb drug addiction or the opioid crisis, undermining one of Trump's key arguments in favor of a wall.

The report, the National Drug Control Strategy, lays out an array of policies to reduce "illicit drug use through education and evidence-based prevention programs." But not one of those policies includes building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The report does mention drugs coming into the country in ways a wall would not prevent, such as through the mail. But Newsweek points out that the words "wall" and "barrier" are never mentioned in the same context that Trump uses them.

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The report's silence on a border wall speaks volumes about Trump's repeated, absurd claims that such a wall is needed to stop illegal drugs from flowing into the country from Mexico.

Trump shut down the federal government for 35 days demanding Congress pay a $5.7 billion ransom to build Trump's wall. During the shutdown, Trump repeatedly invoked illegal drugs as a scare tactic to try to convince Americans to support the wall.

In his first prime-time Oval Office address to the nation, Trump claimed a wall was needed to prevent drugs like heroin from entering the country. At the time, fact-checkers pointed out that most drugs coming across the border actually travel through ports of entry, hidden among legal goods — so a wall wouldn't stop them.

The issue came up again earlier this week when a record amount of fentanyl was seized at the U.S.-Mexico border. Even though the 254 pounds of drugs were found in a tractor-trailer stopped for inspection at a legal border crossing, Republicans and White House officials bizarrely claimed the drug bust was evidence that a border wall is needed.

Additionally, Trump's national security team testified before Congress on Tuesday about top national security threats facing the country. As the Washington Post pointed out, not a single official said there was a crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.

It's not surprising that the shutdown ended with Trump getting no money for his wall. It's an obviously unnecessary waste of money, and a racist symbol to boot.

But Trump still isn't willing to face reality. He desperately wants to build a border wall — but his excuses for building one make so little sense that even his own administration can't defend them.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.