Former President Barack Obama’s mansion in a wealthy area of Northwest Washington has security fencing, a guard booth and patrols at the end of the street. But the Washington Post Fact Checker noted that it doesn’t have a “ten foot wall.”
President Trump had noted over the weekend that former presidents have unusual security to keep away people with bad intentions.
“President and Mrs. Obama built/has a ten foot Wall around their D.C. mansion/compound. I agree, totally necessary for their safety and security. The U.S. needs the same thing, slightly larger version!” he wrote.
That prompted the Post to go to the $8 million, 8,200-square-foot Tudor-style mansion on Belmont Street in the Kalorama neighborhood to see whether there was a 10-foot wall. They found numerous security measures and even added fencing since the former president purchased it.
“The Obamas added security fencing to a retaining wall in front of the home (it is not a compound) for the needs of the Secret Service. A guard booth was built, and fencing was added to the back,” the Post wrote.
The Post also noted that part of Belmont Street had been blocked off and cited neighbors as saying that each end of the street now has security checkpoints also.
One neighbor also told the Post on condition of anonymity that “there’s a fence that goes along the front of the house, but it’s the same as the other neighbors have … tastefully done.”
But not a 10-foot wall.
“There is no 10-foot wall in the front, back or sides of the house — and no wall is going up,” a second neighbor told the Post. The home is “100 percent visible from the street.”
Mr. Trump was not the first person to characterize the security additions to the Obamas’ mansion as a “wall.”
Celebrity-news site TMZ led a January 2017 story about construction on the building with “President Obama is taking a cue from Donald Trump … he’s building himself a wall. We got photos of construction at Obama’s soon-to-be D.C. rental.”
The debate over border security is also getting bogged down in the semantic differences between “fencing” and “a wall” and whether steel slats count.