As critics continued to suggest there wasn’t actually much to the deal, President Donald Trump tweeted Sunday morning that there is more to his agreement with Mexico than meets the eye.
“Importantly, some things….. …..not mentioned in yesterday press release, one in particular, were agreed upon. That will be announced at the appropriate time,“ the president wrote in a string of four tweets.
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Trump was defending his newly announced agreement with Mexico in the face of reporting that much of what was in the deal was not new. In his tweets, he directly attacked the New York Times and CNN, calling them “the Enemy of the People.“
While proudly defending the agreement and saying he expected Mexico to be “very cooperative,“ the president said that he could always return to the threat of tariffs: “We can always go back to our previous, very profitable, position of Tariffs – But I don’t believe that will be necessary.“
Trump had threatened Mexico with a succession of higher tariffs in order to push the country to do more to keep migrants from El Salvador and other Central American nations from reaching the U.S. border. Migrants have been coming in great numbers for months, often, they say, to escape relentless violence in their home countries. It’s not clear how successful Mexico can be in stopping them from coming.
Appearing soon after on “Fox News Sunday,” acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan was asked about the president’s tweets, but offered few specific details.
“There’s a mechanism to make sure that they do what they promised to do, that there’s an actual result, that we see a vast reduction in those [migration] numbers,” he told Fox host Bret Baier.
“As the State Department announced,” McAleenan said, “there are going to be further actions, further dialogue with Mexico on immigration, on how to manage this asylum flow in the region.”
“There is, by and large, an economic migration that we need to stop with enforcement,” he said. “We need to be able to repatriate people successfully.”
“People can disagree with the tactics.” McAleenan added, referring to the president’s tariff threats. “Mexico came to the table with real proposals. We have an agreement that, if they implement, will be effective.”
Some critics have suggested that the deal with Mexico ended a verbal battle that was partly or entirely of the president’s own making. “I think the president has completely overblown what he reports to have achieved,“ Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.” “These are agreements that Mexico had already made, in some cases months ago. “
On CNN, fellow Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders said Trump’s “erratic” policy was “not the way to go.”
“You can’t have a trade policy based on tweets,” the Vermont senator told host Dana Bash on “State of the Union.”
Forty minutes after his string of tweets, Trump made it clear he‘s feeling very much unappreciated.
“If President Obama made the deals that I have made,“ he wrote on Twitter, “both at the Border and for the Economy, the Corrupt Media would be hailing them as Incredible, & a National Holiday would be immediately declared. With me, despite our record setting Economy and all that I have done, no credit!“
Bob Hillman contributed to this article.