We've now heard Trump's big immigration policy speech.
Let me start by a general comment on tone. This was as wild and as unbridled a speech as I've seen from Trump. Even if you couldn't understand English, it would be stunning to watch the slashing hand gestures, the red face, the yelling. It's hard to imagine any presidential candidate in living memory giving such a speech. And again, this is if you didn't know what the words even meant.
9:36 PM: Nothing much yet.
9:38 PM: I think we can see where this is going: talk louder to breeze over shift in positions.
9:44 PM: So far this is another blood curdling speech about Americans murdered by people in the country illegally.
9:45 PM: On how many undocumented immigrants are in the USA: "It could be 3 million or 30 million. They have no idea."
9:52 PM: "We will build a great wall along the southern border ... And Mexico will pay for the wall. They don't know it yet. But they're gonna pay for it."
Okay, so Trump confirms build the wall and Mexico pays.
10:02 PM: So there will be a "Deportation Task Force" created within ICE.
Let me share a few more thoughts on how this Trump-Peña Nieto situation is shaking out.
We're now hearing from President Peña Nieto as well as his press people that Donald Trump didn't tell the truth when he said the two hadn't discussed who'd pay for the wall. Peña Nieto says they did discuss it and he made clear at the outset of their conversations that Mexico would never pay for it.
It's a quite legitimate question why Peña Nieto didn't contradict Trump when Trump made this claim on stage with him. Maybe he's lying. Maybe Trump's lying. But remember, Trump's a pathological liar. Peña Nieto? I have no idea about his reputation for truth telling.
As I've explained - somewhat contrary to what seems to be the received wisdom - I don't think this went well for Trump. The presidential visuals were definitely good. Pena Nieto was passive and even obsequious. But the key in my mind is that Trump refused to discuss who would pay for the Trump Wall, a centerpiece of Trump's whole campaign. I think that will continue to be a telling moment well after the visuals have subsided. I will stick with that interpretation. But there's another part of the equation: the blowback for Pena Nieto in Mexico.
Just a few moments again Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a major Trump surrogate, was asked on CNN if he was troubled by Trump not asking the President of Mexico to pay for the Wall ...
"No, what difference does it make. The wall is important no matter who pays for it. If Mexico doesn’t pay for it, they do get foreign aid. Maybe we can deduct the price from the foreign aid. I’m not trying to be nasty."