Trump has personally pushed for the border wall to be awarded to a construction firm headed by a major GOP donor, potentially diminishing the public's trust in decades-old federal procurement rules, according to a report by the Washington Post.
The president has pressed the Department of Homeland Security and Army Corps commanding general Todd Semonite to award a multi-billion dollar border project to Fisher Industries, a North Dakota firm led by Tommy Fisher, who is also a frequent Fox News guest.
The president notched up his pressure after the Army rejected the firm’s proposal to install barriers along the Mexican border last month. Jared Kushner and North Dakota senator Kevin Cramer has also pushed for the real estate giant, which donated thousands of dollars to Cramer campaign.
Fisher has claimed in public television that its “new weathered steel design and innovative construction method” would allow it to deliver the project at a lower price and in less time, a claim the administration has repeated on numerous occasions to explain its preference for the developer.
The company was one of six to present wall prototypes in 2017, but its design did not satisfy the Department of Homeland Security's see-through requirement. Fisher sued the government in April for alleged improprieties in that procurement process.