Trump lies about icebreaker funding, but Alaska Republican leaders look the other way
It attracted little attention, but President Trump lied about funding for a proposed new icebreaker for the Coast Guard, a vessel of vital interest to Alaska.
Trump has made lying a part of the presidency and most Republicans, including the Alaska Congressional delegation, have almost nothing to say about it.
Whether it is claiming that Mexico is paying for his wall or that the middle class would get a tax cut before the 2018 elections, one of Trump’s habits is that he cannot tell the truth on matters big and small.
Funding for the icebreaker was included in a Senate version of a budget bill, but not in the House version supported by Rep. Don Young and other Republicans, who cut that money and other programs to add $5 billion for the wall with Mexico.
Neither bill has been approved and an icebreaker has not been ordered, though Trump claimed otherwise in a publicity stunt phone call with members of the military on Christmas Day.
Trump rambled on about various topics, one of which was ordering new uniforms for the military—”It's going to mean you have to be in perfect shape to wear those uniforms. That's one thing. But probably that's good,” and icebreakers.
Here is what he said about an icebreaker that has not been ordered and is not a Christmas present:
“Now we'll go to the Coast Guard. And we just ordered a Coast Guard Cutter, the - an icebreaker - the likes of which nobody has seen before. The bad part is the price; the good part is it's the most powerful in the world. And it can go just about anywhere. The ice is in big trouble when that thing gets finished. It'll go right through it. But it's very expensive, but that's okay; we have to get the best.
“But you folks are going to be very proud of it. Because you've seen it, I'm sure. It's a new design, highest technology. But with all the technology, it still needs very thick steel, when you get right down to it, right? It can be good technology, but you need thick steel.
“It's like the border wall. We still need a wall. They can have all the drones they want flying up in the air and spinning around, and all the technology in the world. It's all - I call it bells and whistles. But if you don't have the wall, it doesn't work.
“With the icebreakers, you need a lot of steel in those hulls. And you have it. It's maxed out, and it's going to be incredible, and you'll get it fairly soon. We gave out the contract, and that's for the Coast Guard. So that's a little Christmas present. We'll call it a Christmas present to the Coast Guard. And thank you for the great job you've done.”