The transcripts from phone calls that Donald Trump made to the Mexican and Australian leaders back in January have leaked, and Dear God, they’re goddamn gold. They are still classified, so the fact that they leaked is going to create more havoc and chaos within the White House, but they also show the stunning breadth of stupidity, ignorance, and hypocrisy of Trump.
Here are the best passages:
Re: His call with Peña Nieto and Mexico paying for the wall:
“On the wall, you and I both have a political problem. My people stand up and say, ‘Mexico will pay for the wall,’ and your people probably say something in a similar but slightly different language … I have to have Mexico pay for the wall — I have to, I have been talking about it for a two-year period … We should both say, ‘We will work it out.’ It will work out in the formula somehow. As opposed to you saying, ‘We will not pay,’ and me saying, ‘We will not pay.’”
Trump seemed to concede that he understood the reality that Mexico would not actually pay for The Wall, acknowledging that the Wall is “the least important thing we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important.” He told the Mexican President that he could not tell the press that he wouldn’t pay for the wall anymore. “The press is going to go with that, and I cannot live with that.”
Nieto ultimately agreed to simply stop talking about the wall.
In other words, Trump doesn’t give a rat’s ass about The Wall, except as a crass cynical ploy to please his base. He never thought Mexico would pay for The Wall; he just doesn’t want Mexico to say so out loud.
On the drug problem
“We have a massive drug problem where kids are becoming addicted to drugs because the drugs are being sold for less money than candy. I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den,” Trump said. Nieto, however, countered that the drug problem was as much our fault as theirs, because it is “largely supported by the illegal amounts of money and weapons coming from the United States.”
Re: His call with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the U.S. agreement to accept 1250 refugees from Australian detention centers
“I hate taking these people. I guarantee you they are bad. That is why they are in prison right now. They are not going to be wonderful people who go on to work for the local milk people … I think it is a horrible deal, a disgusting deal that I would have never made. As far as I am concerned, that is enough, Malcolm. I have had it … This is going to kill me. I am the world’s greatest person that does not want to let people into the country. And now I am agreeing to take 2,000 people.”
Eventually, Trump ended the call, saying “I have had it. I have been making these calls all day, and this is the most unpleasant call all day.” He added that “Putin was a pleasant call. This is ridiculous.”