According to Donald Trump, his meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieta went smoothly. According to Enrique Pena Nieto, his meeting with Trump was basically to tell him his signature immigration plan was an idiotic fantasy.
Who should you believe? Let’s take a brief glimpse at Trump’s PolitiFact rap sheet.
In other words, the winner of 2015’s Lie of the Year may have just earned himself this year’s award.
While taking questions following his arrival in Mexico, Trump claimed that his signature policy, to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, didn’t come up in his meeting with President Pena Nieto. Immediately, bullshit detectors as far away as China began blaring. Trump’s supporters have spent the last year fervently believing Trump when he claims he will get Mexico to pay for his giant border wall. Meanwhile, Mexicans revile Trump and flatly refuse to entertain the idea that they will pay for Trump’s pipe dream. The idea that this policy didn’t come up is ludicrous. It was a 10-ton elephant in the room. It came up.
Not surprisingly, Pena Nieto set the record straight – essentially calling Trump a liar:
“Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Wednesday told Donald Trump that Mexico would not pay for the Republican presidential candidate’s proposed wall along the Mexico-U.S. border, contradicting Trump’s assertion they didn’t discuss payment.
“What the president said is that Mexico, as he has said on several occasions … will not pay for that wall,” presidential spokesman Eduardo Sanchez told Reuters by telephone.”
Pena Nieto later tweeted to reiterate that he “made it clear” to Trump that he could forget about Mexico paying for his wall.
Al inicio de la conversación con Donald Trump dejé claro que México no pagará por el muro.
— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) August 31, 2016
Later, Trump arrived in Phoenix, Arizona, to tell supporters that he plans on building his wall and having Mexico pay for it, but “they don’t know it yet.” An admission of defeat if there ever was one. Trump, who frequently calls Hillary Clinton weak, was beaten into submission by Mexico’s president, only regaining his tough posture when he arrived back in the United States.
However, contrary to reality, Trump’s team announced his visit to Mexico was a huge success. They desperately needed it to be. Just a few months from election day, Trump seems to have finally realized that he is almost universally reviled by American voters. Even many of his own supporters freely tell pollsters that they don’t think he actually has the temperament or experience needed to be president. He needed to prove he could be presidential.
Instead, he just showed how feckless he would be. All talk, no backbone.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images