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Trump Campaign Literally Demanded Mexico ‘Make a One-Time Payment of $5 to $10 Billion’ For Wall

On Thursday morning, Donald Trump claimed that he “never said” Mexico would pay for his border wall, but an extremely detailed Trump campaign position paper from 2016 explicitly said that Mexico would ” make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion” for the wall.

Trump spoke to reporters on the South Lawn of the White House as he departed for a photo op at the border, and during a long digression about immigration, he accused “the fake news” of claiming that he had promised Mexico would pay for the wall directly.

“When during the campaign I would say Mexico is going to pay for it, obviously I never said this, and I never meant they’re going to write out a check,” Trump said. “I said they’re going to pay for it. They are.”

Trump did promise, in hundreds of speeches, that Mexico would pay for the wall, and that they would do so “gladly” in order to protect their trading relationship with the United States. In those speeches, Trump explicitly framed this as a direct transaction in order to protect Mexico’s access to American markets. There is no burden to prove he said Mexico would “write out a check” because the meaning of Trump’s hundreds of promises was clear.

However, it turns out Trump not only promised Mexico would pay directly, and not only specified the amount of the payment, he also promised the payment would arrive no later than January 23, 2017.

In a position paper that was first sent to The Washington Post, Trump said that funding the wall would be “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.”

The paper went on to lay out a detailed timetable of how Trump would compel Mexico to make this payment, down to the day.

“On day 1,” Trump promised to propose a rule that would choke off remittances from undocumented immigrants to their families in Mexico.

“On day 2 Mexico will immediately protest,” the paper says.

And on “day 3,” Trump said he would “tell Mexico that if the Mexican government will contribute the funds needed to the United States to pay for the wall, the Trump Administration will not promulgate the final rule, and the regulation will not go into effect.”

Mexico is currently 717 days late with that payment.

What did happen on day 6 of Trump’s term in office is interesting, though. He issued a threat, via Twitter, that if Mexico refused to pay for the wall, he would cancel a scheduled meeting with then-President of Mexico Enrique Peña Nieto:

Peña Nieto Here responded by canceling the meeting himself in a pair of tweets. Instead, they spoke by phone, and even according to the White House, agreed to disagree on paying for the wall:

With respect to payment for the border wall, both presidents recognize their clear and very public differences of positions on this issue but have agreed to work these differences out as part of a comprehensive discussion on all aspects of the bilateral relationship.

But a leaked transcript of that call shows Trump repeatedly begging Peña Nieto to stop saying publicly that Mexico won’t pay for the wall.

Trump’s promises could not have been clearer, and now we know that not only was this promise broken, but it was also broken on day three.

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