Trump has confirmed something most Americans knew all along.
One of President Donald Trump’s first selling points in his campaign for POTUS was the fact that he would build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and that Mexico would pay for the wall. While many anti-Trump citizens were extremely doubtful about this plan from the start, Trump supporters could not have been more thrilled at the prospect of ending immigration problems allegedly stemming from not having a full border wall.
Trump’s claims about Mexico paying for the wall are well-documented, but he has already gone against his word on this part of the plan and has admitted, in the only way he can, that American taxpayers will actually be paying for the wall.
For his first interview since becoming president, Trump sat down with David Muir from ABC News to discuss several topics, such as immigration, the wall, and voter fraud. Muir questioned Trump about the wall, asking point blank, “Are you going to direct U.S. funds to pay for this wall? Will American taxpayers pay for the wall?” to which Trump responded,
“Ultimately it’ll come out of what’s happening with Mexico…. All it is, is we’ll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico.” He added, “I’m just telling you there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form. And you have to understand what I’m doing is good for the United States. It’s also going to be good for Mexico.”
Though he didn’t actually say “yes” any of the times that Muir asked if taxpayers would be paying for the wall, the fact that the U.S. will be “reimbursed” officially means that Americans will pay for the wall up front. Trump explained that the U.S. could wait several years to have the wall built if they want Mexico to pay up front for it but that it’s important to him and his supporters to move forward with the plan immediately.
The interview, which aired on Wednesday, appeared to be the catalyst for a feud between the U.S. and Mexico as Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto announced in a national address on Thursday morning that he had canceled his trip to the White House. In the interview, Trump had said that negotiations were set to take place soon, but it seems as though those will be postponed. President Peña Nieto also said in the address that,
“I regret and disapprove of the decision by the United States to continue with the construction of the wall, which has for years, far from uniting us, divided us. Mexico does not believe in walls. I have said time and time again, Mexico will not pay for any wall.”
By Thursday afternoon, Trump retaliated by announcing that the wall would be paid for with a 20 percent tax on imports from Mexico. Though this still hurts American taxpayers, it would eventually hurt Mexico as well because Americans would buy less imported goods from the nation. Whether Trump actually plans on following through with this tax is still unclear, but it’s likely that we haven’t seen the end of this feud over the wall.
Watch the video below to see Trump’s full interview.
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