Monday, January 30, 2017


aka "The Art of Making More Enemies"

"What Trump's wall means for U.S. relations with Mexico" PBS NewsHour 1/26/2017


SUMMARY:  What do President Trump's latest actions on immigration mean for U.S. relations with Mexico?  Former State Department official Roger Noriega and James Carafano from the Heritage Foundation join Antonio Mora to discuss the apparent rift between President Trump and Mexico's President Enrique Peña over the decision to build a wall along the southern border.

ANTONIO MORA (NewsHour):  Let's take a closer look now at the rift developing between President Trump and Mexico's Enrique Pena Nieto.

For what that might mean for both countries, I'm joined by Roger Noriega of the American Enterprise Institute.  He's a former Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere affairs in the George W. Bush administration.  And James Carafano, vice president of the Davis Institute for National Security and Foreign Policy at the Heritage Foundation.

Very good to have you both here.

Roger, I want to start with you.

Was the cancellation of this meeting, because both leaders were backed into a corner, Donald Trump by his promises in the campaign that he was going to build that wall and Mexico was going to pay for it, and Pena Nieto because his approval ratings are so terrible, that he has to play hardball politically?

ROGER NORIEGA, American Enterprise Institute:  Well, I think it's fair to say that this was a very uncomfortable exchange between these two leaders.

Certainly, I think President Trump didn't want to be seen as having a meeting canceled on him, so he suggested that it was a common decision to maybe reschedule.

But, from the point of view of Pena Nieto, he — you know, the insistence that Mexico's going to pay for a wall, in spite of his declarations to the contrary, put this very weak president on the defensive at home.

And, you know, this is our second largest trading partner.  This is a country we should be cultivating a positive dialogue about how we work together to make ourselves more secure and more competitive vis-a-vis the rest of the world.

ANTONIO MORA:  And, James, did Pena Nieto have really any choice, after President Trump tweeted that the meeting had to be canceled if Mexico wasn't going to pay for the wall?

JAMES CARAFANO, Heritage Foundation:  Yes, I don't think it's just about that tweet.

And I want to start by saying, I think the Mexican government actually started out exactly right, and not just what the president has said, but the whole the way the campaign rhetoric was portrayed.  That's what's being dumped into Latin America.  They're not watching FOX News.

And, I mean, they're basically hearing a very vitriolic, very aggressive description of this.

"White House floats import tax amid tensions with Mexico" PBS NewsHour 1/26/2017

"Congress would be willing to foot the bill$" aka 'we are going to shaft tax payers for the bill$.'

AND 'criminal immigrants' = being Mexican.


SUMMARY:  President Trump's push for a wall on the border has opened a diplomatic rift with Mexico.  After Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto announced he was canceling a visit to Washington, Mr. Trump gave no ground at a GOP retreat in Philadelphia.  Congressional leaders said Congress would be willing to foot the bill for a wall for now.  Lisa Desjardins talks to Judy Woodruff from Philadelphia.

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