According to a new report from the Washington Post, the Trump administration plans on giving the American people a firsthand look at the building of The Wall. At the impetus of Jared Kushner and other West Wing officials, webcams will be set up at the border next year so people can follow the construction along at home.
“There will be a wall cam, and it’ll launch early next year,” a White House official told the Post.
The purpose of the cam is to drum up support from the public as Trump begins preparing for what will be a brutal battle for reelection. The wall is, of course, one of Trump’s most controversial initiatives. Unable to secure support from Congress, he appropriated money already set aside for the Pentagon to begin construction in earnest. But while liberals vehemently oppose any new construction, Trump’s supporters have been critical of the slow pace thus far. Part of the problem is the bulwark of Capitol Hill; another is the fact that the federal government needs to purchase or lease hundreds of miles of private land to make the wall a reality.
According to the Post, the White House is moving forward with the cameras over and above objections from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:
Kushner floated the idea during meetings in July, part of a messaging effort to push back against criticism that Trump has failed to deliver on the signature proposal of his 2016 campaign. The Army Corps and CBP have told Kushner that construction contractors do not want their proprietary techniques visible to competitors, according to four people who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the internal discussions.
Officials at the Army Corps and CBP also were concerned the cameras would show U.S. work crews violating Mexican sovereignty because they sometimes must stray south of the border to maneuver their vehicles and heavy equipment in the desert. Because some of the remote border areas lack network access, the cameras will require their own web connectivity and attendants who could frequently reposition them to keep the lens pointed at the action.
Normally, we’d question whether it’s really worth all this effort to put up some webcams that no one is going to watch in the first place. But these aren’t ordinary circumstances, and President Trump has to push back hard on this narrative that “no new” fencing has been constructed since he was elected. If he needs to put up cameras to prove that this isn’t true, then we’re all for it.