Trump’s wall: recent timeline
June 21, 2017: A solar wall
“We're thinking about building the wall as a solar wall so it creates energy and pays for itself and this way Mexico will have to pay much less money, and that's good, right? Is that good?” Trump told a crowd in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The solar wall idea was later abandoned.
January 11, 2018: Move away from concrete
Trump explained to The Wall Street Journal that border officials told him “they need see-through” and indicated a concrete wall might be the wrong thing because of that. “We need a form of fence or window,” Trump said.
“If you have a wall this thick and it's solid concrete from ground to 32 feet high, which is a high wall, much higher than people planned. You go 32 feet up and you don't know who's over here,” he explained. “If you don't know who's there, you've got a problem.”
He also said the wall did not need to run the course of the entire border because of natural barriers. But he also insisted “the wall's identical” to what he promised on the campaign trail.
January 18, 2018: 'The Wall is the Wall'
"The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it," Trump tweeted in response to a Washington Post report that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly said "a concrete wall from sea to shining sea" was not going to happen and that Trump's campaign promises about the wall were "uninformed."
March 13, 2018: ‘We want to make it perfecto'
Trump reviewed eight prototypes for the wall in San Diego during a visit to the border. All of the designs were concrete, but only one included the see-through component Trump said was necessary. He also repeated the need for a tall wall, comparing some migrants to “professional mountain climbers.” “We want to make it perfecto,” he said of the wall.
December 21, 2018: ‘Steel Slat Barrier’
Trump shared a design of a tall fence on Twitter, which he referred to as a “Steel Slat Barrier.” “Totally effective while at the same time beautiful!” he said.
December 25, 2018: ‘A wall, a fence, whatever they’d like to call it’
“I can’t tell you when the government is going to reopen,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. “I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they’d like to call it. I’ll call it whatever they want. But it’s all the same thing. It’s a barrier from people pouring into our country.”
December 31, 2018: ‘All concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED’
“An all concrete Wall was NEVER ABANDONED, as has been reported by the media,” Trump tweeted ahead of New Year’s Eve. “Some areas will be all concrete but the experts at Border Patrol prefer a Wall that is see through (thereby making it possible to see what is happening on both sides). Makes sense to me!” The president was evidently reacting to a Los Angeles Times interview in which Kelly said, “To be honest, it’s not a wall.” “The president still says ‘wall’ – oftentimes frankly he’ll say ‘barrier’ or ‘fencing,’ now he’s tended toward steel slats. But we left a solid concrete wall early on in the administration, when we asked people what they needed and where they needed it,” Kelly told the Times.
January 5, 2019: ‘The Wall is Coming’
“The Wall is Coming,” Trump tweeted in the Game Of Thrones font with a picture of a fence.
January 6, 2019: ‘Steel rather than concrete’
“We are now planning a Steel Barrier rather than concrete,” Trump tweeted. “It is both stronger & less obtrusive. Good solution, and made in the USA.”