When Donald Trump abruptly backed down from his threat to impose massive tariffs on Mexico — which would cripple the relationship with our third-largest trade partner — literally everyone understood it was because important Republicans finally took him aside and said, “Hey, we kinda like Crazy Trump, but this, we will abandon you for.”
That’s why he was so desperate to make the whole thing seem like a big win for him. He knew that if he looked like he’d capitulated to the GOP, or worse, to Mexico, his façade of toughness would be in jeopardy. So Trump tweeted a lie that he thought he could somehow spin into the truth before anyone realized it was false:
MEXICO HAS AGREED TO IMMEDIATELY BEGIN BUYING LARGE QUANTITIES OF AGRICULTURAL PRODUCT FROM OUR GREAT PATRIOT FARMERS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 8, 2019
The problem is, there was no news release about that, nothing in the Joint Statement issued by the State Department that purported to cover the talks between the two nations’ Presidents — no evidence at all that Mexico had agreed to any such thing.
In fact, Trump went on to blast the New York Times for issuing an article that outlined how, of the things the public has been able to glean from the international meeting aside from that limited release from the State Department, everything seemed to be something that Mexico agreed to months ago, well before Trump even started with his ranting about tariffs.
Another false report in the Failing @nytimes. We have been trying to get some of these Border Actions for a long time, as have other administrations, but were not able to get them, or get them in full, until our signed agreement with Mexico. Additionally, and for many years,….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 9, 2019
I won’t bore you with the rest of that thread, but he goes on and on about how it’s all a big secret, the megadeal he reached with Mexico, and it’s gonna blow everyone’s minds, and the NYT needs to just shut the f–
And then Mexico said the Times was right.
And that whole agricultural buying thing that Trump tweeted about before he started furiously denying the Times report? Mexico says that’s fake too. According to a report in Bloomberg, Mexico was “baffled” by the claim, in fact:
Three Mexican officials said Saturday they were not aware of any side accord in the works, and that agricultural trade hadn’t been discussed during three days of negotiations in Washington that culminated in a joint communique late Friday.”
As a matter of fact, Mexico really couldn’t even undertake anything on a large scale with ag buying, because according to that same report,
Mexico has no state-owned agricultural conglomerate to buy food products or handle distribution, or a government program that could buy farm equipment for delivery to producers.”
So, uh, yeah. It looks like this is all part of a Trump pattern of taking any given issue, screwing it up terribly, undoing the thing he did that screwed it up, then demanding to be loved and given credit for “fixing” that thing. That seems to be the Trump Doctrine.
Featured image via screen capture