The president is generally disdainful of states that didn’t go red in the 2016 election, but, aside from California, he hasn’t threatened Democratic-voting states with any serious rebuke. That ended by accident on Wednesday when Trump spoke before an energy conference in Pittsburgh promoting the oil and natural gas industries. Describing his plans to secure the border, he went on a tear:
“We’re building a wall on the border of New Mexico. And we’re building a wall in Colorado. We’re building a beautiful wall. A big one that really works. You can’t get over you can’t get under. And we’re building a wall in Texas.”
Trump — who didn’t know that Nepal or Bhutan existed, and invented the country of “Nambia” — may not consider the world map to be an important part of his foreign policy. But this marks the first time he’s had such a severe geographical slip stateside. Maybe he does want to build a border wall within the American interior, or maybe he just got excited, Howard Dean–style, while listing good states; either way, the crowd didn’t notice, giving him a standing ovation as he described walling off the southwest.
Trump defended his apparent slip up in a late night tweet Thursday, writing that he was kidding about building a border wall in Colorado. Later in the same sentence, he wrote that he was actually referring to people from Colorado “getting the benefit of the Border Wall!”
Though the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labor have no plans to construct a wall between Colorado and New Mexico, there’s no real plan to build on the southern border, either — despite Trump’s September decision to move $3.6 billion in military funding to the project. As of August, the administration could only boast about 60 miles of new barriers along the 1,954-mile border.