After partly shutting down the government over a lack of funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, President Donald Trump has been tweeting extensively over the holiday season in defense of the controversial structure. In one such tweet, Trump suggested that former President Barack Obama had erected a 10-foot wall around his Washington home for “safety and security.” The U.S., Trump said, “needs the same thing” — only “slightly larger.”
Neighbors of the Obamas have since refuted Trump’s claim. One neighbor, described as a longtime resident of the Kalorama neighborhood where the former first couple now lives, told The Washington Post on Monday that Trump “has a very active imagination.”
“There’s a fence that goes along the front of the house, but it’s the same as the other neighbors have,” the neighbor said. “It’s tastefully done.”
According to the Post’s Fact Checker, the Obamas’ home ― described as a nine-bedroom mansion and not a “compound” contrary to Trump’s description — has additional security fencing in the front and back, as well as a guard booth. There is “not a ten-foot wall around the house,” however, and the front steps of the home remain open to the sidewalk.
The home is “100 percent visible from the street,” a second neighbor told the paper.
In a Sunday tweet, Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was killed in the Parkland school shooting, criticized Trump’s tweet for possibly putting the Obamas “at risk.” Foreign policy analyst and journalist Rula Jabreal echoed this sentiment, saying the president’s remarks could potentially endanger the Obamas and their Secret Service team.