During a joint press conference with President of Finland Sauli Niinistö on Monday, President Donald Trump fielded a question regarding one of his long-held, highly contested campaign promises: The border wall between Mexico and the U.S.
“In my opinion, Mexico has been very difficult as they should be. Why wouldn't they be,” President Trump said. “They had a sweetheart deal for so many years.”
Continuing on, Trump doubled down in attacking NAFTA, saying that it was “one of the worst trade deals ever signed at any time” and that he understood why Mexico was being “difficult,” as they've “had it their way.”
The president then made a bold statement regarding just how Mexico would ultimately pay for his proposed border wall, saying, “Mexico will pay for the wall, it may be through reimbursement.” He kept on, listing the reasons the wall is needed — “tremendous crime,” “drugs are pouring in” — adding that over the last “three to four years” these incidents have seen a spike in frequency.
“We may fund it through the United States, but ultimately Mexico will pay for the wall,” the president said, again.
Following up his initial question, the reporter asked that why, if Mexico was ultimately going to pay for the wall, would the U.S. close down its government over the funding — or lack thereof — of the wall.
Trump then launched into an extended monologue of an answer.
“I hope it's not necessary,” he confessed, adding, “The wall is needed from the standpoint of security.”
Circling back to the issue of drugs, the president claimed that under his administration upwards of 80 percent of drug trafficking from Mexico has been stopped. Touching on NAFTA again, the president said that he would either entirely do away with the agreement or “renegotiate” it, claiming that the U.S. is “in the process of renegotiating right now, renegotiating the deal.”
Trump, continuing on the subject of NAFTA, added Canada to his remarks, saying that it was a “one-sided deal for Canada and for Mexico,” but that he had “great respect for Canada, great love for Canada.”
“The United States workers, all of these incredible people who have lost their jobs because of NAFTA, they're not going to be suffering any longer,” Trump said, rounding out his answer. “It's been unfair for too long.”