This is the quote from the sound track The Associated Press (AP) got from an anonymous source as to what U.S. President Donald Trump told Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in their phone conversation held January 27.
“You have a bunch of bad hombres down there,” Trump told Peña Nieto, according to the excerpt given to journalists. “You aren’t doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.”
The full AP article can be read in The News but what catches the attention is that both in the United States as well as in Mexico, journalists – we do our best to source informative materials – is being considered “a political party.” And the AP quote may not be genuine and may have toned Trump’s statement down.
Surely the leakage of part of the phone call caused blisters particularly at the Foreign Relations Secretariat (SRE) as indeed Secretary Luis Videgaray, President Enrique Peña Nieto’s closest buddy, was listening during the call.
The reaction in calling journalists “a political party” may be sheer paranoia on the part of Secretary Luis Videgaray, as a reaction to the report first aired last Tuesday in news site Aristegui Noticias who on Wednesday issued a full-fledged statement rejecting that Trump “threatened” to send troops to Mexico to fight drug traffickers (the “bad hombres”) based on information filed by Washington reporter Dolia Estevez.
The SRE accused Estevez of publishing “falsehoods” and performing “ill intentioned” reporting and claimed that the conversation between Trump and Peña had been “constructive” that there had been no threats on Trump’s statement.
“Whoever was her confidential source at the border, it lied to her”, the press release contradicting Estevez says.
The problem is that Estevez did not publish the exact quote AP did. Here’s what, according to her as printed in www.proyectopuente.com news site, The Donald said:
“You have some pretty tough hombres in Mexico that you may need help with. We are willing to help with that big-league, but they have to be knocked out and you have not done a good job knocking them out”. That sounds more like Trump.
Did Trump say “bad hombres” or “tough hombres” seem to be the question as well as the authenticity of the quotes? Truth be said, the second one sounds more like Trump than the nice and amiable tone in the AP version of it. It’s not the same “just might” than “we’re willing to help.” According to the Mexican source the partial conversation was released by someone in the White House.
Apparently the anonymous source released only this part of the conversation between both presidents but the disparities in the quotes definitely are the source of confusion among the public as this is a news item that is getting a lot of attention.
And while on the “white house” and beyond the authenticity of the released phone conversation stands the fact that in Mexico Aristegui Noticias has a running feud both with President Peña Nieto and Secretary Luis Videgaray since in its muckraking style Carmen Aristegui revealed that Peña and Videgaray were getting kickbacks from construction contractor Higa in the form of mansions (one of them infamously known as “the white house”) in plush neighborhoods in exchange for allowing it to build – in joint venture with a Chinese enterprise – the much needed Mexico-Querétaro bullet train. The Aristegui news “uanmasked” both Peña and Videgaray and the whole fast train project had to be dumped.
But Aristegui lost her popular daily morning radio newscast after losing a legal suit from the MVS Television broadcaster.
Dolia Estevez, by the way, did not retract Thursday from her statement despite the SRE statement on her sources.
On top of this, Thursday morning President Peña’s spokesman Eduardo Sánchez went on administration-friendly Milenio TV to make it clear that Trump did not threaten Peña with an armed invasion to knock out traffickers.
All in all this snafu comes to prove that either Trump or Peña are having a love relationship with the press as they are converting it into “a political party.”
Their political foes, however, love the press for bringing these issues out but this time it seems someone released different sound tracks to sidetrack the press.