Last night the Washington Post dumped it’s latest ‘bombshell’ White House leaks in the form of full transcripts of Trump’s calls with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull from back in January…which, in Trump years, feels like it was about 20 years ago (we covered it here: Trump Phone Call Transcripts Leaked: “New Hampshire Is A Drug Infested Den”).
Among other things, the full transcripts revealed Trump describing the border wall as a politically important issue but otherwise the “least important thing that we are talking about,” an admission that will come as a surprise to a lot of folks who voted for him. Meanwhile, he also attempted to hedge his insistence that Mexico pay for border wall by proposing a “formula” that would allow the two countries to split the costs, a compromise, and likely the goal of his grandstanding all along, that would seemingly allow both candidates to declare victory politically.
Here are some of the relevant exchanges from the January call:
“Believe it or not, this is the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important. But in terms of dollars — or pesos — it is the least important thing.”
“On the wall, you and I both have a political problem. My people stand up and say, ‘Mexico will pay for the wall,’ and your people probably say something in a similar but slightly different language. But the fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall. I have to. I have been talking about it for a two-year period.”
“We should both say, ‘We will work it out.’ It will work out in a formula somehow. As opposed to you saying, ‘We will not pay,’ and me saying, ‘We will not pay.'”
“We cannot say that anymore because 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.”
“This is what I suggest, Mr. President — let us stop talking about the wall. I have recognized the right of any government to protect its borders as it deems necessary and convenient. But my position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that Mexico cannot pay for that wall.”
Meanwhile, and not surprisingly, former Mexican President Vicente Fox appeared yet again on CNN this morning to blast Trump for the transcripts which he used as evidence that Trump’s continued interest in the border wall is nothing more than an attempt to “save face” with voters.
Former Mexican president Vincente Fox: In leaked call with Peña Nieto, Trump is “trying to save face” with voters https://t.co/h3VXA6l3Ft
— New Day (@NewDay) August 4, 2017
And what border wall discussion with Vicente Fox would be complete without another twitter effort to get “#FuckingWall” trending again?
— Vicente Fox Quesada (@VicenteFoxQue) August 3, 2017
Are you not entertained?