Amid rampant confusion as to precisely what was and wasn’t agreed to with Mexico last week, Donald Trump spoke to reporters on Tuesday afternoon.
If anything, he left everyone more bewildered than they were before, assuming that’s possible.
Trump has, for the last three days, been at pains to play down reports that the “deal” with Mexico was actually no “deal” at all, but rather a rehashing of previous commitments. Separately, Mexican foreign minister Marcelo Ebrard confirmed on Monday that contrary to Trump’s tweets, there was no agreement between the two countries on additional purchases of agricultural goods.
There is, apparently, an agreement that entails a broader immigration discussion which will include other countries if the flow of migrants to the US doesn’t abate substantially over the next several months. Beyond that, though, nobody (including Mexico) seems to know what Trump means when he teases “secret” stipulations that, for whatever reason, he swears he cannot disclose. The most plausible explanation is that there are no such secret provisions.
“Biggest part of deal with Mexico has not yet been revealed!”, the president tweeted on Tuesday morning, tripling down on what, at this point, is almost surely a lie.
Asked by reporters to explain… well, to just explain anything, really, Trump reached into his jacket pocket, pulled out a piece of paper and claimed it documented the secret agreement.
Believe it or not, he persisted. “[It’s got] everything you wanna talk about”, he said, quadrupling down, after decrying “fake reporting”. “It’s done. It’s all done”.
Pressed further about what exactly it is that’s “all done”, Trump delivered a wholly indecipherable harangue about “options”.
As if all of this wasn’t enough, Trump also claimed to be in possession of another “beautiful letter from Kim Jong Un”.
Over shouted questions from reporters (who were presumably asking about news that Kim’s murdered half-brother had CIA ties), Trump said the letter from Pyongyang is just like the agreement with Mexico. It’s real, but “obviously” he “can’t show you”.
As one reporter for Vox put it, “Suffice it to say that was an exceedingly bizarre and troubling performance – even for Trump”.
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