If Mexicans have already gotten used to withstanding U.S. President Donald Trump’s megalomania, they are now under obligation to expand their patience to not explode when Trump shows his other facet: his mythomania.
Last Monday as Trump was introducing General John Kelly as the new White House Chief-of-Staff praising Kelly’s “miraculous” performance as Homeland Security secretary, he went into the following self-serving commentary:
“As you know, the border was a tremendous problem and they’re close to 80 percent stoppage. And even the president of Mexico called me — they said their southern border, very few people are coming because they know they’re not going to get through our border, which is the ultimate compliment.”
I was watching Gen. Kelly’s introduction and the very fact that Mr. Trump said President Enrique Peña Nieto had rung him up to congratulate him on border results sounded odd. In fact, at the moment I was just writing an article about President Peña Nieto having a knack for spiking hornets’ nests and this phone call would have been but one more spike.
The problem was that it wasn’t and that this time The Donald was making up a sheer lie to back up Gen. Kelly’s performance as DHS secretary. The response from Mexico’s Foreign Relations Secretariat (SRE) was as blunt as it was immediate.
“The chancellery denies that Enrique Peña Nieto congratulated Donald Trump for his migratory policies.”
In a further information press release from the SRE, it explained that the figures mentioned by Trump had been discussed during the G-20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany where the two national leaders had their last official meeting last July 7.
In its press release, SRE even went as far as explaining what Peña Nieto and Trump talked about during their German gathering.
“President Enrique Peña Nieto shared that the repatriations of Mexican citizens from the United States have diminished by 31 percent (for the January-June 2017 period) compared with the same period the year before. Also that during the same semester migration to Mexico stemming out of Central and South America had diminished by around 47 percent in its annual comparison.”
These were the exact figures President Trump used on Monday to pump up Gen. Kelly’s introduction as the new chief-of-staff.
It could have very well been a slip of the tongue on the part of Donald Trump, but his often mischievous attitudes leave doubt as to what the true intent behind Peña Nieto’s inexistent phone call might be.
But perhaps this comes with the whole Trump package of what many of us see as a twisted personality who has been called not once, but many times, to be that of “a pathological liar.” It’s not me saying it but plenty of opinion leaders in the United States.
The reaction from Mexico’s SRE was mild with no follow up mostly because the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) renegotiation is at hand and this is one time in which the Mexican government is walking on a very loose tight rope and any wrong move now can have a negative effect.
But definitely Trump’s “the president of Mexico called me” fantasy did not rock Peña Nieto’s boat in Mexico because he never made the call and he can now be made responsible for any and everything that happens in Mexico, except for this one phone call.