It was a foundational promise of Donald Trump’s historic presidential campaign: Mexico would pay for his 3,200km border wall. But as he desperately fights for $5.7bn (€5bn) for the proj
David Nakamura
January 12 2019 2:30 AM
It was a foundational promise of Donald Trump’s historic presidential campaign: Mexico would pay for his 3,200km border wall. But as he desperately fights for $5.7bn (€5bn) for the project, the US president now claims he never said Mexico would directly foot the bill.
« Obviously, I never said this and I never meant they’re going to write out a cheque, » the president said.
The thing is he did – at least 212 times during his campaign and dozens more since he took office. And he put it in writing – in a March 2016 memo to news outlets and then posted to his campaign website.
Specifically, Trump threatened to cut off billions of dollars in remittance payments from Mexican nationals in the United States to families in their home country. That, he proclaimed, would pressure the Mexican government to cough up « a one-time payment of $5bn-$10bn » for the wall.
Experts said at the time the plan would not work and the Trump administration never tried to enact it. But two-and-a-half years later, with parts of the federal government shut down for three weeks in a budget impasse over Trump’s wall, the episode illustrates how his routine application of falsehoods, exaggerations and lies in service of political combat has come back to burn him.
First, former Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto openly defied Trump and cancelled two visits to the White House, one in 2017 and one in 2018.

Continue reading...