Trump told graduating students in 2004 to ‘go over’ any ‘concrete wall in front of you'

Trump told graduating students in 2004 to ‘go over’ any ‘concrete wall in front of you'
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpNew EPA rule would expand Trump officials' powers to reject FOIA requests Democratic senator introduces bill to ban gun silencers Democrats: Ex-Commerce aide said Ross asked him to examine adding census citizenship question MORE once told a group of graduating college students to “go over” and “go through” any “concrete wall in front of you.”

The comment has resurfaced in the third week of a partial government shutdown that was triggered by the president’s demand for funding for a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“The Daily Show” host Trevor Noah aired the 2004 clip Wednesday night, in which Trump, wearing a green graduation gown at Wagner College in Staten Island, N.Y., urges students to “never, ever give up.” 

“Don’t give up. Don’t allow it to happen,” he says. “If there’s a concrete wall in front of you, go through it. Go over it. Go around it. But get to the other side of that wall.”

Since Trump was elected president, Wagner students, alumni and staff have unsuccessfully tried to get the college to revoke the honorary degree Trump was given, as well as urged their lawmakers to condemn some of Trump's policies and rhetoric, according to The Washington Post.

Noah mocked Trump for the 2004 comments, tweeting: “Oh man, once Trump gets his wall he better hope no one shows Mexico this old video we found.”

Earlier Wednesday, Trump walked out of a meeting with Democratic leaders after they refused to agree to funding for the proposed barrier. The president has backed away from demands for a concrete wall, instead pushing for a “steel barrier."


"Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time," Trump tweeted after a brief negotiations meeting with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - In exclusive interview, Trump talks Biden, Iran, SCOTUS and reparations Lawmakers 'failed us' says ICE chief Pelosi, Democratic leaders seek to quell liberal revolt over border bill MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerMcConnell-backed Super PAC says nominating Roy Moore would be 'gift wrapping' seat to Dems McConnell vows to 'vigorously' oppose Moore's Senate bid Pelosi: Trump delay on Harriet Tubman is 'an insult to the hopes of millions' MORE (D-N.Y.).

"I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier?" he added. "Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!"

Democrats have stood by their vow not to provide the $5 billion that Trump has demanded for the border wall in a government spending bill, but have offered funds for other border security measures.

Trump has threatened to declare a national emergency at the border in order to get the wall built, a proposal that White House officials said Wednesday is still under consideration.