Trump Once Told Students to Never Let a Wall Get in Their Way

“If there’s a concrete wall in front of you, go through it.”

Long before President Donald Trump threatened to “maybe, definitely” declare a national emergency over his $5 billion demands for funds to build a border wall, the former real estate magnate once offered a very different—if not inspirational—message about concrete walls.

“I’ll tell you, to me, the second most important thing after love what you do is never, ever give up,” Trump said during a 2004 commencement speech at Wagner College in Staten Island. “Don’t give up. Don’t allow it to happen.”

“If there’s a concrete wall in front of you, go through it,” he continued. “Go over it. Go around it. But get to the other side of that wall.”

The Daily Show‘s Trevor Noah unearthed the 2004 speech during a segment that aired Wednesday, the 18th day of a partial government shutdown that has left nearly 800,000 federal workers furloughed or working without pay.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate