President Donald Trump continued Monday to talk up the trade agreement his administration struck with Mexico after a weekend of news reports poking holes in his claims that Mexico had agreed to significant new concessions to avert tariffs.
He still offered few specifics, teasing in a tweet Monday morning a “very important” part of the deal that had been “fully signed and documented” but was first subject to a vote by Mexico’s legislature.
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The provision, which Trump described as “one that the U.S. has been asking about getting for many years” would be revealed “in the not too distant future and will need a vote by Mexico’s Legislative body!”
Though Trump added that “we do not anticipate a problem with the vote,” he warned that “if for any reason the approval is not forthcoming, Tariffs will be reinstated!”
Trump spent much of his weekend defending the deal on Twitter after it was widely panned for not containing much that was new.
Mexico said as part of the agreement it would send 6,000 troops from its newly formed National Guard to the country’s southern border with Guatemala, a move aimed at cutting off the flow of migrants bound for the U.S. border but one that had already been under discussion before Trump’s threats to slap a 5 percent tariff on goods imported from Mexico.
The deal also involved an expansion of the “remain in Mexico” policy, which forces certain non-Mexican asylum seekers to wait in Mexico pending the resolution of their cases in the U.S., which was also under discussion previously.
On Monday, Trump also reprised his attacks on the media for their reporting on the deal, bemoaning the “sick journalism” of The New York Times but not offering any specific contradictions to their reporting.
“When will the Failing New York Times admit that their front page story on the the [sic] new Mexico deal at the Border is a FRAUD and nothing more than a badly reported ‘hit job’ on me, something that has been going on since the first day I announced for the presidency!” Trump posited. He appeared to refer in particular to a story that said the deal reached Friday, which the White House was hailing as a major victory, “consists largely of actions that Mexico had already promised to take in prior discussions with the United States over the past several months.”
The Times responded to Trump’s earlier attacks on their reporting Sunday morning, declaring that they were standing by their story. “We are confident in our reporting, and as with so many other occasions, our stories stand up over time and the president’s denials of them do not,” the paper said in a tweet, adding that “Calling the press the enemy is undemocratic and dangerous.”
Monday morning, the president also dinged Congress — and Democrats in particular — for dragging their feet on border control.
“Now with our new deal, Mexico is doing more for the USA on Illegal Immigration than the Democrats,” he tweeted, accusing Democrats of doing “NOTHING” to help his administration address the recent surge of migrants crossing the border.