Trump has shown that he’s an intemperate user of Twitter, and now he’s showing his mean streak on the phone. First he had a testy exchange over immigration with Malcolm Turnbull, the Australian prime minister — he apparently hung up after less than half the allotted time — and now we learn he threatened the president of Mexico with an invasion.
During a phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Friday, US President Donald Trump disparaged Mexico and threatened to use military force against the drug trade, according to Dolia Estevez, a journalist based in Washington, DC.
In an interview with the Mexican news outlet Aristegui Noticias, Estevez, who cited sources on both sides of the call, said, “It was a very offensive conversation where Trump humiliated Peña Nieto.”
Estevez said that while both the White House and the Mexican president have released information about the call, both sides characterized it as a “friendly” conversation and neither disclosed what was said.
Estevez said she “obtained confidential information” corroborating the content of the discussion.
“I don’t need the Mexicans. I don’t need Mexico,” Trump reportedly told the Mexican president. “We are going to build the wall and you all are going to pay for it, like it or not.”
Trump hinted that the US would force Mexico to fund the wall with a 10% tax on Mexican exports “and of 35% on those exports that hurt Mexico the most,” Estevez wrote in Proyecto Puente.
This kind of diplomacy by bluster, bullying, and threats may play well with the Trumpistas, but what happens when the day comes — and it will — when we need our allies from around the world to support us in defending against an attack or help us out in case of some disaster, natural or man-made?
I can fully understand if Mexico replied, “Beseme culo” and hung up.