As the ongoing shutdown edges closer and closer to becoming the longest in U.S. history, the president has walked back his claim that Mexico would pay for the wall.
As he prepared to leave for a trip to the southern border, Trump told reporters that he “never meant they’re [Mexico] gonna write out a check,” and repeated his claim that new trade deals will “indirectly” force Mexico to foot the bill.
However, those trade deals have not been approved by Congress and show little indication of providing any substantial payment from Mexico — indirect or otherwise — for a border wall.
More importantly, evidence exists that proves Trump not only intended for Mexico to pay for the wall, but that he and his team actually formulated a plan to make it happen.
The funding plan involved issuing regulations that would force financial transfer companies like Western Union to provide verification of all clients’ identities and immigration status to the U.S. government when attempting to make a wire transfer.
By the president’s logic, this stranglehold on funds being sent home to families in Mexico should be enough to persuade the Mexican government to fork over $5 to 10 billion to build a wall.
“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.” — Trump
All this comes as the government remains shut down over the fight for border wall funding and the president continues to threaten to invoke a state of emergency in order to appropriate defense funds to build the wall.