Donald Trump Says Border Wall Was Chosen After 20 'World-Class' Mountain Climbers Tested It

President Donald Trump visited a section of the wall being constructed on the southern U.S.-Mexico border on Wednesday, where he boasted that the federal government tested the structure by having 20 skilled mountain climbers attempt to climb it.

Trump arrived in San Diego after diverting a fundraising trip through California and visited a nearby portion of the newly-constructed barriers aimed at deterring illegal migrant border crossings. During the visit, Trump spent considerable time boasting to reporters about the structure's alleged impenetrability.

"This is certainly a tremendous national emergency," Trump said as he stood next to the 30-foot-tall bollard wall. "Look at the inner tube to see what happens, because after the wall is up, we pour concrete and concrete goes into the tube, and in addition to that we have rebar."

"So if you think you're going to cut it with a blowtorch, that doesn't work because you hit concrete," the president continued, "and if you think you're going to go through the concrete, that doesn't work because we have very powerful rebar inside."

Trump also touted the materials used to construct the beams as "very powerful concrete."

"And a lot of technological advances have been made with concrete," he explained. "It sounds pretty simple but it's not. It's a pretty powerful concrete. So you have the rebar, you have the outer crust and you have—the inside is concrete and it's pretty amazing."

The president went on to assert that the barrier, which he described as the "Rolls-Royce version," had been tested by the federal government to ensure its effectiveness.

"We actually built prototypes and we have, I guess you could say, world-class climbers," he said. "We had 20 mountain climbers. That's all they do, they love to climb mountains... Some of them were champions, and we gave them different prototypes of walls, and this was the one that was hardest to climb."

"You can fry an egg on that wall," Trump added, indicating that the structure can absorb heat, which further helps to deter undocumented migrants from climbing it.

Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to the nation in his first-prime address from the Oval Office of the White House on January 8, 2019 in Washington, DC. Carlos Barria-Pool/Getty

Trump's visit to the portion of the wall marked the last stop on his three-day trip to California. Acting Homeland Secretary Kevin McAleenan and acting Customs and Border Patrol Protection Commissioner Mark Morgan joined him on his trip to the southern border.

As the 2020 presidential election draws closer, the president has faced increased pressure to make good of his 2016 signature campaign promise of a wall on the southern U.S.-Mexico border. Although his administration appears to be calling the structure a success, more than three-quarters of the 450 to 500 miles of barriers that Trump has promised to erect by the end of this year is still to be built.

In Late August, Newsweek reported that less than 15 percent of the border wall had been constructed. As of August 23, just over 60 miles of the partition had been built, according to the U.S Customs and Border Protection agency.

According to a progress report that CBP shared with Newsweek, the total increased slightly to 66 miles as of September 13.