Crime writer Don Winslow challenges Trump to border wall debate | Books

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Crime novelist Don Winslow has issued a challenge to Donald Trump to debate his plans for a border wall on Fox News – a provocation that horror author Stephen King has offered to fund.

Winslow, whose latest book is called The Border, the third novel in his Cartel trilogy, made the offer on Twitter: “Dear @realDonaldTrump. Let’s debate the Trump wall and let the people decide. I’ll even do it on your own network – @FoxNews. Any show. Any anchor. Any time. You debated 18 Republicans during your presidential campaign, I am sure you can handle one writer. Let me know.”

King was quick to react, telling Winslow that he would “pay $10,000 to see that!”. Trump, however, has yet to respond.

Winslow has a history of publicly criticising the president and his border policy. Two years ago, he took out a full-page ad in the New York Times, which said that “rather than make a real effort to address the drug problem at its roots – at a time when more Americans die from opiate overdose than from car accidents – Trump and Sessions hand us fantasies such as the border wall, which will do absolutely nothing to slow the flow of drugs”.

The veteran crime author also ridiculed the concept of a border wall in an interview with CBS News earlier this week, saying: “I’ve been on every mile of this border, every mile. Even if you built the wall – let’s go to ‘Cloud-Cuckoo Land’ for a while and say you could build that wall, build it as high as you want, deep as you want, wide as you want – it has gates. Those gates are always open.”

His novel The Border is, according to a review in the New York Times, “a book for dark, rudderless times, an immersion into fear and chaos” that “conjures more lawlessness, dishonesty, conniving, brutality and power mania than both of the earlier books put together”.

Winslow has a habit of directly addressing the US president on Twitter, on Wednesday pointing to the arrest of a neo-Nazi serving in the US coast guard who was plotting to attack politicians and journalists. “Today you called [the New York Times] ‘the enemy of the people’. Stop calling the press this. Your words matter. You’re going to get people hurt,” wrote Winslow.

King is also a prominent and vocal critic of Trump, last week describing Trump’s declaration of a national emergency as “a giant step away from democracy and a giant step toward dictatorship. He means to destroy an American form of government that has survived for 200+ years.”