Transcripts of Trump’s Calls With Foreign Leaders Leaked, and Wow, Are They Ever Bizarre
The Washington Post has obtained transcripts of the Trump-thing’s calls with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull a week after inauguration, and once again they reveal the leader of the United States to be a fatuous loose cannon, more inclined to lash out at allies than at adversaries.
Here are the full transcripts. One big takeaway from these bizarre, contentious conversations is that Trump wanted Mexico’s Peña Nieto to stop saying Mexico wouldn’t pay for his imaginary border wall, saying the wall was “the least important thing we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important.”
Hard core Trump supporters may wish to ponder the meaning of this statement, because from here it looks an awful lot like they were conned by a snake oil salesman who never intended to deliver on his promise, but was simply using it as red meat for the rage-filled right wing base.
TRUMP: The only thing I will ask you though is on the wall, you and I both have a political problem. My people stand up and say, “Mexico will pay for the wall” and your people probably say something in a similar but slightly different language. But the fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall – I have to. I have been talking about it for a two year period, and the reason I say they are going to pay for the wall is because Mexico has made a fortune out of the stupidity of U.S. trade representatives. They are beating us at trade and they are beating us at the border, and they are killing us with drugs. Now I know you are not involved with that, but regardless of who is making all the money, billions and billions and billions – some people say more – is being made on drug trafficking that is coming through Mexico. Some people say that the business of drug trafficking is bigger than the business of taking our factory jobs. So what I would like to recommend is – if we are going to have continued dialogue – we will work out the wall. 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.” It will work out in the formula somehow. As opposed to you saying, “we will not pay” and me saying, “we will not pay.”
Because you and I are both at a point now where we are both saying we are not to pay for the wall. From a political standpoint, that is what we will say. We cannot say that anymore 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. I am just going to say that we are working it out. Believe it or not, this is the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important…
Trump also tells Peña Nieto that he won in New Hampshire because it’s “a drug-infested den.”
They are sending drugs to Chicago, Los Angeles, and to New York. Up in New Hampshire – I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den – is coming from the southern border.
Apart from the insulting characterization of an entire US state, there’s another little problem with this statement: Trump didn’t win in New Hampshire. Hillary Clinton did, by about 3000 votes.
The call with Australia’s Turnbull was every bit as hostile as was first reported. At one point, Trump rants at the Australian Prime Minister that his call with Vladimir Putin was much more enjoyable.
Produced by White House staff, the documents provide an unfiltered glimpse of Trump’s approach to the diplomatic aspect of his job, subjecting even a close neighbor and long-standing ally to streams of threats and invective as if aimed at U.S. adversaries.
The Jan. 28 call with Turnbull became particularly acrimonious. “I have had it,” Trump erupted after the two argued about an agreement on refugees. “I have been making these calls all day, and this is the most unpleasant call all day.”
Before ending the call, Trump noted that at least one of his conversations that day had gone far more smoothly. “Putin was a pleasant call,” Trump said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “This is ridiculous.”