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Border wall construction firm favored by Trump gets $1.3 billion contract to build 42 miles

White House diverts $3.8 billion for border wall

A North Dakota construction firm has secured a nearly $1.3 billion contract to build 42 miles of President Trump's wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. It's the largest border wall contract ever awarded, giving the company more than $30 million per mile. 

Fisher Sand & Gravel Company was awarded the $1.275 billion contract on May 6, an Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson told CBS News' David Martin. The company had been directly lobbying to Mr. Trump for wall contracts, and the president reportedly pushed for it to get a deal. 

The Arizona Daily Star first reported on the contract, which was not announced by the Defense Department or Customs and Border Protection.

The company, which has offices in Tempe, Arizona, is commissioned to build 42 miles of wall along the southern Arizona border. 

The Daily Star reported that after the firm was passed over for initial bids, its CEO, Tommy Fisher, started pitching designs on conservative news outlets and paid lobbyists $145,000 to discuss the wall with lawmakers. Mr. Trump eventually urged Corps officials to award contracts to the company. 

The firm was previously awarded a $400 million contract for 31 miles of wall, which is now being reviewed by the Defense Department inspector general after Democrats said Mr. Trump improperly influenced the process.

CBS News has reached out to Fisher Sand & Gravel Company for comment. 

Mr. Trump has continued promoting his border wall during the coronavirus pandemic, even at times suggesting it would have had an effect on stopping the spread of the virus. So far, only about 180 miles of the wall have been built along the 2,000-mile border, and some of the construction only replaced older structures. 

In addition to contracts with firms, the Trump administration has tapped billions of dollars in military funds to help with the wall construction. The costs so far have already made the wall one of the most expensive infrastructure projects in U.S. history. 

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