At a visit to the U.S. and Mexico border this week, Donald Trump insisted that in all of his stump speeches, he never meant that Mexico would literally pay for the wall “with a check,” but a Trump administration proposal indicates that the president thought he could wrap it all up in mere days and indeed get Mexico to actually pay the bill.
According to the Daily Beast, the Trump proposal titled, “Compelling Mexico to Pay For the Wall,” was a two-page memo written in April 2016 which said that after a three-day negotiation, the government of Mexico would cut the U.S. Treasury Department a big check for the full amount, $10 billion.
The proposal, which was shared on the Trump Campaign website has now been deleted but is now resurrected in full to show that the president expected to convince the Mexican government to swiftly cover the cost of a border wall despite recent backpedaling.
In an “orphaned” version of the Trump proposal, the president suggested that Mexico should make one lump payment.
“It’s an easy decision for Mexico. Make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year.”
Donald Trump indicated in the proposal that it should be just that easy.
Fox News’ Neil Cavuto Busts Trump for ‘Constantly’ Saying Mexico Would Pay for the Wall https://t.co/q9CNjBMvKh
— Joe Scarborough (@JoeNBC) January 11, 2019
The president insisted that he was in the right by demanding that Mexico foot the bill, and it was just that simple.
“We have the moral high ground here, and all the leverage,” Trump concluded. “It is time we use it in order to Make America Great Again.”
But sources say that even Donald Trump never really believed that Mexico was going to pay for the border wall the way one pays for groceries in the store.
Sam Nunberg, a former Trump adviser turned critic, says the idea that Mexico was actually going to pay for the wall was always a bluster.
“The idea that Mexico would literally pay billions for the wall was ‘for political fodder,’ rather than a legitimate policy proposal.”
But Trump was irked by statements on the record from Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto saying that his government is not going to pay for a wall. Trump called Nieto to say he needed to stop saying that Mexico would never pay. A leaked transcript from that conversation indicated that Trump was trying to appease the Mexican president.
“You cannot say anymore that the United States is going to pay for the wall—I am just going to say that we are working it out.”