Mexico’s new leftist president-elect is praising Trump for being very respectful and not mentioning the border wall when he called to congratulate him on his presidential victory:
NY POST – Mexico’s newly elected leftist president, who will meet with top Trump administration officials on Friday, lavished praise on President Trump for his “respectful treatment” and for not bringing up the border wall during a recent conversation, according to a report.
Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who will take office on Dec. 1, will get a visit from Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at his campaign headquarters, the Associated Press reported.
Current President Enrique Pena Nieto canceled a White House meeting with the president in January 2017 as the two leaders squabbled over building the wall along the US’ southern border that Trump proclaimed Mexico would pay for.
But Lopez Obrador on Tuesday said Trump didn’t even mention the barrier when he called July 2 to congratulate him on his election victory the day before.
“President Trump has been very respectful. He hasn’t brought up that topic,” Lopez Obrador said. “And how nice that it hasn’t come up.”
“I thank him a lot, I say so sincerely, for the respectful treatment we have received from President Trump and the U.S. government,” he said. “We are interested in having a good relationship with the people and government of the United States.”
He called Friday’s meeting “very good news” and said immigration and renegotiating NAFTA would be topics for discussion.
“We know that the best way to tackle the migration phenomenon and the problems of safety … is to spur development in Mexico,” Lopez Obrador said.
It sounds like Obrador is intentionally taking a different tone with Trump than his predecessor. Perhaps he knows that Trump likes to be complimented and is attempting to butter him up in order to set the relationship on a good footing.
But maybe this goes both ways, as Trump is said to be calling him “Juan Trump” in private:
Trump apparently feels some kind of affinity for Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, the leftist politician known as “AMLO” who won an overwhelming victory in Mexico’s July 1 presidential election.
The US president sees some “of his renegade self in AMLO,” writes Mark Feierstein in an article for Americas Quarterly. Feierstein was senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs on the National Security Council during the Obama Administration and is now a senior adviser at the Albright Stonebridge Group.
Trump has even taken to calling Mexico’s president-elect “Juan Trump” in private, a senior government official told Feierstein.
We’ll see how long this lasts, as you know Trump will eventually insist on making Mexico pay for the border wall and he promised in his campaign.