In an interview with ABC News’ David Muir last night, Donald Trump tried to explain how Mexico will pay for his wall. It has become readily apparent that Mexico will not, in fact, be paying for the wall, including Paul Ryan’s admission last night.
And even Trump eventually admitted we would pay for the wall and Mexico would reimburse us. Under David Muir’s questioning, Trump squirms when put on the spot as he continues to insist a way will be found to make Mexico foot the bill.
According to Trump, “Ultimately it’ll come out of what’s happening with Mexico. We’re gonna be starting those negotiations relatively soon. And we will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico,” and that reimbursment will be 100 percent. The means by which he intends to extort the money from Mexico remains unexplained.
Watch courtesy of ABC News:
DAVID MUIR: Mr. President, I want to start — we’re five days in. And your campaign promises. I know today you plan on signing the order to build the wall.
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Correct.
DAVID MUIR: Are you going to direct U.S. funds to pay for this wall? Will American taxpayers pay for the wall?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Ultimately it’ll come out of what’s happening with Mexico. We’re gonna be starting those negotiations relatively soon. And we will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico which I will say …
DAVID MUIR: So, they’ll pay us back?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Yeah, absolutely, 100 percent.
DAVID MUIR: So, the American taxpayer will pay for the wall at first?
PRESIDENT TRUMP: All it is, is we’ll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico. Now, I could wait a year and I could hold off the wall. But I wanna build the wall. We have to build the wall. We have to stop drugs from pouring in. We have to stop people from just pouring into our country. We have no idea where they’re from. And I campaigned on the wall. And it’s very important. But that wall will cost us nothing.
DAVID MUIR: But you talked — often about Mexico paying for the wall. And you, again, say they’ll pay us back. Mexico’s president said in recent days that Mexico absolutely will not pay, adding that, “It goes against our dignity as a country and our dignity as Mexicans.” He says …
PRESIDENT TRUMP: David, he has to say that. He has to say that. But I’m just telling you there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form. And you have to understand what I’m doing is good for the United States. It’s also going to be good for Mexico.
We wanna have a very stable, very solid Mexico. Even more solid than it is right now. And they need it also. Lots of things are coming across Mexico that they don’t want. I think it’s going to be a good thing for both countries. And I think the relationship will be better than ever before.
You know, when we had a prisoner in Mexico, as you know, two years ago, that we were trying to get out. And Mexico was not helping us, I will tell you, those days are over. I think we’re gonna end up with a much better relationship with Mexico. We will have the wall and in a very serious form Mexico will pay for the wall.
DAVID MUIR: What are you gonna say to some of your supporters who might say, “Wait a minute, I thought Mexico was going to pay for this right at the start.”
PRESIDENT TRUMP: Well, I’d say very simply that they are going to pay for it. I never said they’re gonna pay from the start. I said Mexico will pay for the wall. But what I will tell my supporters is, “Would you like me to wait two years or three years before I make this deal?” Because we have to make a deal on NAFTA. We have to make a new trade deal with Mexico because we’re getting clobbered.
We have a $60-billion trade deficit. So, if you want, I can wait two years and then we can do it nice and easily. I wanna start the wall immediately. Every supporter I have — I have had so many people calling and tweeting and — and writing letters saying they’re so happy about it. I wanna start the wall. We will be reimbursed for the wall.
At the outset, you might have noticed on thing missing from Trump’s explanations, as did CNN’s Keith Boykin:
Trump tells ABC News’s David Muir he will begin building his wall. No mention of Congressional approval or funding. pic.twitter.com/9E2W5ZxQmU
— Keith Boykin (@keithboykin) January 25, 2017
Faced with a Mexico that steadfastly refuses to pay for Trump’s wall, the president can only fall back on an evasive answer, claiming “I’m just telling you there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form.” Perhaps as ephemeral as Trump’s inauguration crowd. Or in a form only his accountants or bankruptcy lawyer understand.
As for his claim that the wall will be good for the American people, that has already been proven to be false. In fact, the wall is going to cost American taxpayers billions of dollars over the next decade and harm the U.S. economy.
No Trump interview would be complete without lies, of course, leaving an overwhelmed Washington Post fact-checker, Glenn Kessler, to lament that the interview was “so filled with inaccurate and misleading statements by Trump I don’t even know where to begin.”