What brings together the likes of the president’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon; voter disenfranchiser Kris Kobach; notorious Blackwater founder Erik Prince; controversial former sheriff David Clarke; immigration hardliner and former Congressman Tom Tancredo; and offensive meme spewer and former baseball great Curt Schilling?
A move to supplement President Donald Trump’s proposed “wall” on the southern border with a privatized wall.
According to new reporting by Politico, the right-wing crew got together—though Prince just phoned in—for the first time last week at the border town of McAllen, Texas for “a kind of #MAGA field trip.”
The New York Times reported on the privatized wall effort late last month, but Politico is the first to report on Bannon’s involvement.
“Do we have a billion dollars right now? No. But can we raise one- or two-hundred million dollars? No doubt about it,” Bannon told the news outlet. As of this writing, the new GoFundMe page has raised a little over $20 million of its $1 billion goal.
Trump has given the effort his “blessing,” Kobach asserted to the Times.
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The project reportedly got its start in Iraq war veteran Brian Kolfage’s GoFundMe page for wall funding. That evolved into a new fundraising effort and the formation of the nonprofit “We Build the Wall.”
A FAQ page for new group asserts that it is “presently working with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol experts and other U.S. border security service professionals” to target areas for a wall, which would rely on consenting landowners. “The company will build the wall mile-by-mile in strategic locations based on a variety of factors. We will build as much wall as we can based on feasibility, land use, and funding,” it continues.
That company is reportedly the Israel-based Magal Security Systems, which is behind apartheid barriers that besiege Palestinians.
The crew is getting ready to tout their project as soon as Friday at a town hall in Tucson, Arizona and later this month at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).
Kolfage, who’s listed as a key part of the We Build the Wall team, told Politico, “we’re going to give it our all.”