President Donald Trump dropped an F-bomb on his aides a week before Christmas last year, as he fumed over headlines that stated he was backtracking on his campaign promise of making Mexico pay for a border wall and was instead using the country’s budget to support neighboring countries, The Daily Mail reported, citing a book by New York Times reporters Michael Shear and Julie Hirschfeld Davis due to be released on 8 October.
By the mentioned time, the White House had made a deal with US’ southern neighbours, with Trump voicing his dissatisfaction with the arrangement, to inject a hefty $10.6 billion into four countries, with over a half of the sum meant for tackling poverty in Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua, while Mexico was to enjoy $4.8 billion.
“My f***ing friends are calling me,' the president yelled at aides who had convinced him to make the deal. “This is the stupidest s**t you’ve ever done. Why the f**k would we do this?” the British edition quoted the president as exclaiming, with the rant continuing further:
“I’m not getting $5 billion for the wall, and instead I’m paying Mexico $5 billion? What the f**k am I getting out of this?” he yelled.
At the end of 2018, President Trump was pressured by Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, with the officials warning that without the aid money, Mexico wouldn’t agree to Trump’s plan that would force asylum-seekers to remain there instead of entering the US.
“Pompeo tried to explain that a lot of the money was private investment – American companies going down to Mexico would turn a profit and create jobs,” Shear and Davis write, with the excerpt cited by the UK edition.
To explain the move, Trump later tweeted that Mexico is indeed “paying for the wall” but indirectly, “through the new USMCA, the replacement for NAFTA!” adding more money would be flowing to the US.
Caravans of migrants from Central American countries seeking asylum began to move toward the United States through Mexico last year. Trump referred to the surge of such arrivals as a “crisis” and declared a national emergency in February in a failed attempt to earmark sufficient funds to build a wall on the border with Mexico – Trump’s primary 2016 campaign promise.
The Trump administration has implemented various policies such as the Remain in Mexico plan, which appears to have resulted in a decline of apprehensions of illegal immigrants at the US-Mexico border. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Kevin McAleenan claimed that the number of apprehensions has dropped by at least 40 percent since May.