As most Americans know now, one of Trump’s major campaign promises was to build a wall on the Mexico/U.S. border. This was one of the core pledges of his campaign.
‘But in his first White House call with Mexico’s president, Trump described his vow to charge Mexico as a growing political problem, pressuring the Mexican leader to stop saying publicly that his government would never pay.’
The Washington Post obtained a transcript of the call that took place on Jan. 27 with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. During this call, Trump made it clear that he really had no intentions of getting Mexico to pay for the wall. However, he bullied the Mexican President for his defiance and statements made that the Mexican government would never pay for the wall, basically begging him to stop saying that.
Trump began threatening him and said:
‘You cannot say that to the press.’
According to The Post, Trump then added:
‘The funding “will work out in the formula somehow,” Trump said, adding later that “it will come out in the wash, and that is okay.” But “if you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that.”‘
A look at this transcript just validates the disgraceful way Trump handles diplomatic relations with a long-standing ally, with whom the U.S should be working to find a common ground. Upon observation of how Trump was treating Peña Nieto, someone might think he was corresponding with a major enemy or U.S. adversary.
As if Trump’s harsh treatment of Mexican President Peña Nieto wasn’t enough, he ended the call like a spoiled-child saying:
‘Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.’
The White House would not comment about the transcript but got one official to speak “off the record” since the president’s calls have not been declassified. The official stated:
‘The president is a tough negotiator who is always looking to make the best possible deals for the American people. The United States has many vital interests at stake with Mexico, including stopping the flow of illegal immigration, ending drug cartels’ reach into our communities, increasing border security, renegotiating NAFTA and reducing a massive trade deficit. In every conversation the president has with foreign leaders, he is direct and forceful in his determination to put America and Americans first.’
The bottom line is that President Trump knew all along that Mexico would never pay for a wall. At this point, Trump is just worried about all of this is making him look. During the phone call, the president basically admitted that this issue had him politically backed into a corner. Trump told Peña Nieto:
‘I have to have Mexico pay for the wall — I have to. I have been talking about it for a two-year period.’
Trump went on to demand what the Mexican president should say and do when asked about the wall.
‘We should both say, “We will work it out.” It will work out in the formula somehow. As opposed to you saying, “We will not pay,” and me saying, “We will not pay.”‘
Peña Nieto fired back saying:
‘My position has been and will continue to be very firm, saying that Mexico cannot pay for the wall.’
Again, Trump insisted on having the last word and childishly pleaded with him again saying:
‘But you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that, and I cannot live with that.’
In another phone call with Australian Prime Minister Turnbull, Trump went into attack mode again on the issue of accepting refugees from Australian detention centers on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island and the island nation of Nauru. This conversation ended the same way – with Trump using his bully tactics on one of the country’s closest allies.
Featured image by Drew Angerer/Getty Images.