Past and present Mexican political figures took to Twitter yesterday to fire back at U.S. President Donald Trump after he made provocative comments about his proposed border wall and labeled some migrant-sending nations “shithole countries.”
Mexico Economy Secretary Ildefonso Guajardo and chief NAFTA negotiator Kenneth Smith led the charge on Trump’s claim that Mexico would pay for the border wall through an arrangement built into NAFTA.
“Mexico’s president has been very clear: Mexico will never pay for that wall,” Guajardo wrote on Twitter.
It followed an earlier tweet in which he wrote, “Finished my day of work in Washington. Neither on this tour nor at any other time of the negotiation is the wall a topic for NAFTA discussions.”
Smith was equally blunt.
“Let this be clear: the issue of the payment for a border wall is not, and will never be, part of the NAFTA negotiations #wearenotjoking,” he wrote.
The scathing reactions came after the Wall Street Journal published an interview with Trump in which he said, “they can pay for it indirectly through NAFTA.”
“We make a good deal on NAFTA and, say, I’m going to take a small percentage of that money and it’s going toward the wall. Guess what? Mexico’s paying.”
According to the transcript of a telephone conversation Trump had with his Mexican counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto in January last year, Trump was insistent that the Mexican president stop publicly declaring that Mexico would not pay for the border wall.
The president’s disparaging “shithole” comment about immigrant source countries including Haiti, El Salvador and some African nations provoked an even more direct and scornful response.
“@realDonaldTrump, your mouth is the foulest shithole in the world. With what authority do you proclaim who’s welcome in America and who’s not,” former president Vicente Fox tweeted.
Earlier in the day, during a meeting to discuss a bipartisan immigration deal with congressional leaders in the Oval Office, Trump reportedly said: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”
Fox continued his Twitter attack by reminding the U.S. president that his family had also once been immigrants.
“America’s greatness is built on diversity, or have you forgotten your immigrant background, Donald?” the tweet concluded.
Fox, who was in office from 2000 to 2006, has been a frequent critic of Trump on Twitter.
He even managed to convert #FuckingWall into a trending topic on the social network after launching repeated rebukes at the president with the same central theme and tenor:
“Mexico is not going to pay for that fucking wall.”
Today Trump denied using the term “shithole countries.”