The Trump Transcripts: Surreal Moments From His First Conversations With Foreign Leaders.
In another leak sure to set the President’s heart all a Twitter, the Washington Post released transcripts of President Trump’s calls with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and another with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. The calls were made in January shortly after Trump’s inauguration and meant to be introductory in nature.
The transcripts of these calls reveal a horribly insecure President, as much a cad and boor in dealing directly with foreign heads of state as he is when giving a campaign speech, or for that matter, a speech to the Boy Scouts. Here are some of the more bizarre moments from transcripts.
The Call With Mexican President Nieto.
“In the latest election, I won with a large percentage of Hispanic voters. I do not know if you heard, but with Cuba, I had 84 percent, with the Cuban-American vote. But overall generally, I had well over 30 percent and everyone was shocked to see this. I understand the community and they understand me.”
As we will see later, this is not the only time Trump feels the need to brag about his winning the election with a foreign head of state. You have to wonder if Nieto was rolling his eyes in wonderment at the American President talking to the President of Mexico about how his doing well with Cuban-American votes proves Trump understands “the community” the President of Mexico represents.
“I have been telling this to every group of 50,000 people or 25,000 people — because no one got people in their rallies as big as I did.”
See what I mean about bragging about his election? At this point I’m just wishing President Nieto would scream into the phone “I really don’t give a damn how many people were at your campaign rallies.” As WaPo points out in the article, his biggest crowd was probably about 30,000. Of course, Trump is notorious for insisting his crowds are always the bigly-est, even if they are more hand size.
“I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den.”
For starters, Trump did not win New Hampshire, Clinton did. It was a very close vote, but Clinton won it. Moving past that factual faux pas, as we must so often do with this President, what we have here is a President of the United States, representing all those states, insulting one of those states to a foreign President. The comment has led to a backlash of criticism from The Granite State, to include from its Republican Governor.
“I have been given as President tremendous taxation powers for trade and for other reasons — far greater than anybody understands. The powers of taxation are tremendous for the President of the United States and if you study that you will see what I mean.”
Per Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution the power to tax lies with Congress, not the President. In fact, Per Article I, Section 7, all bills for raising revenue must originate in the House. The disturbing thing is that the Mexican President probably knows this better than the American President.
“My people stand up and say, “Mexico will pay for the wall” and your people probably say something in a similar but slightly different language. But the fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall — I have to. I have been talking about it for a two year period . . . you and I are both at a point now where we are both saying we are not to pay for the wall. From a political standpoint, that is what we will say. We cannot say that anymore because 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. I am willing to say that we will work it out, but that means it will come out in the wash and that is okay. But you cannot say anymore that the United States is going to pay for the wall.”
Later when President Nieto directly states “my position has been and will continue to be very firm saying that Mexico cannot pay for that wall” Trump responds:
“But you cannot say that to the press. The press is going to go with that and I cannot live with that. You cannot say that to the press because I cannot negotiate under those circumstances.”
The “little bit of a political bind” Trump refers to is of his own creation with his absurd campaign promises to make Mexico pay for the wall. Trump was quite arrogant and smug about it.
Now Trump is groveling with the Mexican President, pleading with him to not make him look bad by saying Mexico won’t pay for the wall. Maybe Trump should not have been such a jerk about it then if he didn’t want the Mexican President rejecting any chance of their paying for wall now. Nor is Trump adhering to his end of the bargain to not push the issue. When asked at the G20 summit whether he still expected Mexico to pay for the wall, Trump responded “absolutely.”
“I want you to be so popular that your people will call for a constitutional amendment in Mexico so that you can run again for another six years.”
Is eye rolling love sick school boy flattery like this how foreign policy is really conducted? Speaking of which, we shall end this segment with another eye rolling bit of flattery:
“Your words are so beautiful. Those are beautiful words and I do not think I can speak that beautifully, okay? It would be great to put those words at the end of the statement.”
Geez Trump, get a room, will you?
The Call With Australian Prime Minister Turnbull.
“Look at what has happened in Germany. Look at what is happening in these countries. These people are crazy to let this happen [admitting Syrian refugees]. I spoke to Merkel today, and believe me, she wishes she did not do it.”
Trump appears to be putting words in Merkel’s mouth. She continues to support immigration and helping refugees.
“This is going to kill me. I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people and I agree I can vet them, but that puts me in a bad position. It makes me look so bad and I have only been here a week.”
This certainly makes him sound weak in that first week. Turnbull had already told him the correct number is 1,250 and he advises the fact deprived President of that yet again. In this entire dialogue Turnbull talks factual circles around an obviously clueless President, to include reminding Trump that Australia agreed to do this in exchange for accepting Central American refugees the United States did not want. Also that “I am the world’s greatest person” line. Ugh.
“I do not know how you got them to sign a deal like this, but that is how they lost the election. They said I had no way to 270 and I got 306.”
Once again insecurely bragging about his Electoral College victory to a foreign head of state. It really never stops.
“Okay, this shows me to be a dope.”
He’s referring to following the agreement Obama negotiated to take in these 1,250 refugees. I really don’t think that is what put him over the line in showing him to be a dope. Take for example the exchange below, also regarding the refugees.
TRUMP: Okay, good. Can Australia give me a guarantee that if we have any problems — you know that is what they said about the Boston bombers. They said they were wonderful young men.
TURNBULL: They were Russians. They were not from any of these countries.
TRUMP: They were from wherever they were.
Indeed they were.
“I have had it. I have been making these calls all day and this is the most unpleasant call all day. Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.”
So Trump has “had it” but at least the love for Putin continues even in a call with the Australian Prime Minister. This effectively ended the discussion. Shortly after this Trump hangs up even as Turnbull tries to shift the conversation to discussing Korea. Later Trump tweets that news reports of a angry call with the Australian Prime Minister were “fake news.”
More Trump declared fake news that turns out to be real news.