This Thursday, The Washington Post obtained through inside sources two separate transcripts of phones calls President Trump had with Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. While they’re both notable, certain moments in Trump’s call with Nieto show a man backed into a corner, practically pleading with a fellow world leader to go along with the script and save him politically.
The lifted excerpts below include the grammatical errors they were published with.
A powerful moment in the transcript is when Trump realizes his Mexico-bashing has left him with surprisingly weak leverage over the Mexican president.
“The only thing I will ask you though is on the wall, you and I both have a political problem,” Trump said to Nieto. He acknowledged the “political bind” his promises to have Mexico pay for his border wall left him in. “I have been talking about it for a two year period,” Trump reminded him. Then he tried bargaining.
“So what I would like to recommend is – if we are going to have continued dialogue – we will work out the wall,” Trump said, before suggesting to a Nieto a script they could both follow. “They are going to say, ‘who is going to pay for the wall, Mr. President?’ to both of us, and we should both say, ‘we will work it out.'”
BEHOLD: Excerpts from trump BEGGING Pena Nieto not 2 make him look:
Like a dope
— BrooklynDad_Defiant!☮️ (@mmpadellan) August 3, 2017
“It will work out in the formula somehow,” Trump continued. “As opposed to you saying, ‘we will not pay’ and me saying, ‘we will not pay.'”
Aside from Trump’s astoundingly weak position, his comments seem to suggest that the wall was nothing more than a campaign talking point that he lost control of.
“… 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. I am willing to say that we will work it out, but that means it will come out in the wash and that is okay. But you cannot say anymore that the United States is going to pay for the wall.”
Nieto stood firm, saying Trump’s rhetoric put a “very big mark” on the back of Mexico. “This is what I suggest, Mr. President,” Nieto said. “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.”
Trump pleaded: “But you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that. You cannot say that to the press because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances.”
The two seemed to agree to put the wall talk to the side for the moment and Trump closed things with some serious ass-kissing:
“I want you to be so popular that your people will call for a constitutional amendment in Mexico so that you can run again for another six years.”
It’s leaks like this that really make we wish Trump supporters read the news. The subservient tone Trump takes to an adversary he created to whip up his pitchforked rallies is the classic comeuppance for a bully, begging for a way out when the victim doesn’t back down.