by Catherine Smith
Jared Kushner has been made the de facto project manager responsible for overseeing the construction of 400 miles of Trump’s border wall, according to administration officials who have spoken to the Washington Post on Monday.
The president is frustrated with the lack of progress done so far on the wall, the Post says that Kushner has taken the lead on the wall construction project, holding biweekly meetings covering the progress of the wall, contractor data, the location of the wall and how funding is being used.
Kushner is reportedly pushing to get 450 miles of barriers along the border finished before the 2020 election. Officials told the Post that more than 800 filings to seize private property need to be made to make that happen.
Kushner has described himself as being “in charge” of the wall, according to aides. Some in the administration have allegedly reacted in a negative manner to the aggressive manner with which Kushner sought to build the wall.
The President’s original campaign promise was to construct the wall and get Mexico to pay for it as part of his tough-on-illegal-immigration stance. But the Mexican government is still stalling on the subject and refusing to pay for the wall, nor has Congress been willing to pay.
The Trump administration has constructed about 83 miles of the wall so far, with nearly all of it classified as “replacement wall.” To finish by the election, construction would need to move four times faster, according to the Post.
Which lead Kushner to allegedly say they’ve “wasted two years” of construction time. Kushner’s defenders in the administration said he is bringing the private sector approach to the project.
Kushner has frustrated career officials with his lack of knowledge about government and his high expectations for the timeline, some told the Post.
Allegedly some of Kushner’s unique ideas were not well received—such as installing webcams to cover the construction, building large ditches beside the border, crafting support beams with pointy spikes or painting the wall matte black, trapping heat against it and making it hot to the touch, reports Newsweek.
Senior administration officials told the Post that Kushner has attributed the delay in the wall construction to former chief of staff John Kelly and former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
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Catherine Smith is a newcomer to Washington D.C. She met, and married an American journalist and moved to D.C from the U.K. She graduated with a B.A in Graphic, Media and Communications and worked in design and retail in the U.K.