Leaked transcripts of phone calls between Donald Trump and the leaders of U.S. allies Mexico and Australia reveal that Trump’s first interactions with them were threatening and acrimonious.
The Washington Post published the transcripts of the calls between Enrique Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. In the phone call with Peña Nieto, Trump demanded the Mexican leader not say bad things to the press and go along with the deception he was selling to the American people:
“You cannot say that to the press,” Trump said repeatedly, according to a transcript of the Jan. 27 call obtained by The Washington Post. Trump made clear that he realized the funding would have to come from other sources but threatened to cut off contact if Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto continued to make defiant statements.
The funding “will work out in the formula somehow,” Trump said, adding later that “it will come out in the wash, and that is okay.” But “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.”
He described the wall as “the least important thing we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important.”