Trump Plays Down Mexico Conflict: Prez and I Have ‘A Very Good Relationship’

AP

In a joint press conference with British Prime Minister Theresa May on Friday, President Donald Trump confirmed that he had what he described as “a very good call” with the Mexican president, and said the two shared “really, I think a very good relationship.”

Trump was responding to a reporter who asked if Trump had “soured” the U.S. relationship with Mexico. On Thursday, a planned meeting next week between the two countries’ presidents was cancelled.

“We had a very good call,” Trump said, asked to confirm reports he had spoken to Peña Nieto earlier in the day. On Thursday, after Trump again insisted Mexico would pay for his proposed border wall, Peña Nieto wrote on Twitter that he had cancelled his meeting with Trump, previously scheduled for next week. Trump later said the pair had “agreed to cancel” their meeting.

“We have a really I think a very good relationship, the president and I, and we had a talk that lasted for about an hour this morning,” he continued later, “and we are going to be working on a fair relationship and a new relationship, but the United States cannot continue to lose vast amounts of business, vast amounts of companies, and millions and millions of people losing their jobs.

“That won’t happen with me. We’re no longer going to be the country that doesn’t know what it’s doing. And so we are going to renegotiate our trade deals and we’re going to renegotiate other aspects of our relationship with Mexico, and in the end I think it will be good for both countries, but it was a very, very friendly call.”

At other points in his response, Trump mentioned the United States’ trade deficit with its southern neighbor and said “they’ve made us look foolish.”

“The border is soft and weak, drugs are pouring in, and I’m not going to let that happen,” he said.

Trump made no mention of his repeated insistence that Mexico would pay for a wall on the border it shares with the United States, despite forcefully declaring as much on Twitter Thursday. He also signed an executive order furthering along the process of building a wall.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.

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