Reprinted with permission from AlterNet.
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.
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.”