Donald Trump invited Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim to dine with him at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach this weekend after targeting him during the presidential election as a puppet-master pulling the strings of the “corrupt media.”
Trump described the meeting to the Washington Post as “a lovely dinner with a wonderful man.”
The Post reported that the meeting had been arranged through back-channel negotiations that Slim opened up with the President-elect’s former campaign manager and informal advisor, Corey Lewandowski. Anonymous people briefed on the dinner told the newspaper that the sit-down was intended to warm frosty relations between the two moguls and open up lines of communication between Mexico and the United States, rather than to discuss policy proposals in detail.
Slim’s son-in-law and spokesman, Arturo Elias, told Fortune that the telecom magnate and New York Times investor left the meal with a “very positive” outlook about U.S.-Mexico relations.
These words are far sunnier than anything Trump and Slim had to say about each other during the 2016 race. The President-elect blamed the number of women who went public with allegations that he groped or inappropriately touched them on Slim and his media empire, claiming that the Mexican magnate was working in cahoots with Hillary Clinton to harm his campaign.
At an October campaign rally, Trump repeatedly pointed out that Slim was “from Mexico” and a shareholder in “the failing New York Times.”
“Reporters of the New York Times, they’re not journalists, they’re corporate lobbyist for Carlos Slim and for Hillary Clinton,” he told a North Carolina crowd.
Elias told the Wall Street Journal at the time that Trump’s comments were “totally false” and that Slim was in no way “interfering in the U.S. election.”