Mexico City (EFE).- The Mexican president, Andrés Manuel López Obrador, expressed this Monday that he “esteems a lot” the former US president Donald Trump (2017-2021) despite mocking in his campaign how he pressured the Government of Mexico to accept immigration measures.
“I highly esteem President Trump because he was respectful to us, the relationship was good, I can tell you that it was good for the United States, for the American people, and it was very good for the people of Mexico,” López Obrador said in his conference. daily press.
His statements come after Trump, in the opening speech of his presidential campaign, boasted on Saturday of having forced the López Obrador government to accept the controversial “Stay in Mexico” program, created in 2019 for migrants to remain in Mexican territory. in which his asylum in the United States was resolved.
Trump recalled that, then, he threatened to apply tariffs to all Mexican imports if he did not accept the “Stay in Mexico” program and deployed the Armed Forces to stop migrants.
“We need 20,000 soldiers and we want everyone to stay in Mexico and no one to come to the United States. And I told him, look, if they do not approve it, we are going to impose tariffs on all the vehicles that they are selling in our country, some tariffs of 25%, and we are going to impose tariffs of 25% on all the products that they make in Mexico, ” Trump told a Mexican representative, according to his account.
An electoral context that includes Mexico
Despite this narrative, López Obrador asserted that “the relationship with President Trump and his team was very good,” for which he attributed what was said to the electoral campaigns.
“Of course, the campaigns in the United States have already begun, and they are already beginning to say that they were going to put us in line, that they do know how to submit us, that they had already doubled us, and that they already know how to do it,” he mentioned.
The Mexican ruler maintained that the calls he had with Trump were “respectful” and that, in only one of them, they addressed the border wall.
Even so, he acknowledged that “the most critical moment was when the threat of tariffs.”
“Fortunately, an agreement was reached and (chancellor) Marcelo (Ebrard) did a good job. It was a very difficult week because he set a date to start collecting taxes or tariffs on merchandise from Mexico,” he recalled.
The controversy has raged since Mike Pompeo, former Secretary of State with Trump, wrote in his new book “Never Give An Inch” (“Never give an inch”) that Ebrard accepted the “Stay in Mexico”, but asked to keep the message hidden. agreement.
Asked if what Pompeo claims is false, López Obrador evaded a direct answer.
“I don’t get into that. In other words, love and peace. I already wrote about this topic. I think I had only one very productive meeting with President Trump in Washington and we talked about eleven or twelve times on the phone, ”he recounted.