Fact check: False claim that US aid to Ukraine is 15 times more than Trump's US border wall

  • In Politics
  • 2022-08-09 21:18:58Z

The claim: Biden spent 15 times more money securing Ukraine's border than Trump spent on the border wall

Russia's war in Ukraine has entered its sixth month, and the Biden administration continues to provide billions of dollars in aid to Ukraine and other countries affected by the conflict.

A July 11 Facebook post, which is a screenshot of a tweet, compares this spending to the Trump administration's spending on the border wall with Mexico.

It reads, "Just a reminder that we've sent more than 15x the amount of money Trump asked for to complete our border wall to the Ukraine to defend their border."

The Facebook post received nearly 300 shares. The original tweet was retweeted more than 16,000 times.

But the post exaggerates the amount of aid approved for Ukraine.

While the Biden administration has been authorized to spend $53 billion on aid to Ukraine, this amount is not nearly 15 times what the Trump administration spent on the wall.

The Trump administration spent approximately $11 billion on the border wall, according to news reports.

USA TODAY reached out to the Facebook user who shared the screenshot and the Twitter user who posted the original tweet. The Twitter user defended the tweet  but did not provide any evidence to support the 15-times-higher claim, asserting the statement was an opinion.

Congress has approved $53 billion in aid to Ukraine

In total, Congress has approved $53 billion in security and humanitarian aid to Ukraine, money that is projected to be spent over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. But not all of it would go toward defending Ukraine's borders, contrary to the post's description.

Congress approved an initial $13 billion package in March and a second $40 billion package in May. This puts the total approved spending at more than $53 billion. Mark Cancian, senior advisor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told USA TODAY there has been no additional spending approved since then.

About half of those funds have been allocated for military and security assistance, USA TODAY has reported. That $26.5 billion will go toward training, logistical support and weapons for the military and national security forces of Ukraine. Another$17.5 billion will be spent on humanitarian and economic assistance, a broad category that includes refugee and food assistance and countering Russian disinformation.

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The Trump administration spent about $11 billion on the border wall

During Donald Trump's presidential campaign, he said he wanted to spend between $8 billion and $12 billion on building the border wall, and he wanted Mexico to pay for it.

Mexico didn't pay for any of the construction of the border wall, but the ultimate cost was in that range.

FILE - A U.  

As the Washington Post reported, the Trump administration built 458 miles of wall along the southern border at a cost of roughly $11 billion in taxpayer funds. Trump planned to build another 250 miles of barrier, but those plans were halted by President Joe Biden.

NPR reported Trump's border wall is "the most expensive wall of its kind anywhere in the world."

Our rating: False

Based on our research, we rate FALSE the claim Biden spent 15 times more money securing Ukraine's border than Trump spent on the border wall. The Biden administration has authorized $53 billion in all forms of aid for Ukraine, but not all of that has been spent, and much of it will go to humanitarian aid and other causes not related to security. The amount approved for military and security ($26.5 billion) so far is between two and three times the $11 billion border wall tally, not 15 times.

Our fact-check sources:

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Our fact-check work is supported in part by a grant from Facebook. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Fact check: Claim overstates money US approved in aid for Ukraine


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