U.S. President Donald Trump spent half an hour on the phone with Mexico’s new President-elect Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday covering issues from border security to trading through the multi-lateral NAFTA deal or on a bilateral basis.
Trump told the press about his call while welcoming Netherland Prime Minister Mark Rutte at the White House on Monday afternoon.
“I just spoke with the President-elect of Mexico,” he said, describing the conversation as “great.”
“We talked about border security, we talked about trade, we talked about NAFTA, we talked about a separate deal, just Mexico and the United States,” he explained. “I think the relationship will be a very good one,” he said – qualifying the comment as he often does by saying, “We’ll see what happens.”
“He had a very excellent election that, I would say, even better than anticipated,” said President Trump, who told a story about years ago predicting Obrador’s election to the office of President in Mexico. “I told him a number of years ago when I saw him campaigning for a different race, frankly, a different year, a different race, I said he’ll be someday he’s going to be the President of Mexico. So he remembered that and it turned out to be correct.”
Trump tweeted congratulations to the Mexican President-elect late Sunday:
Congratulations to Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on becoming the next President of Mexico. I look very much forward to working with him. There is much to be done that will benefit both the United States and Mexico!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 2, 2018
“I think he’s gonna try and help us with border,” Trump told the reporters. He described “unbelievably bad border laws, immigration laws” in the United States, calling them “the weakest in the world, laughed at by everybody in the world.” He contrasted the U.S. immigration laws with “Mexico’s very strong immigration laws.”
Trump suggested that Mexico can help the United States “until we straighten out our immigration laws, which have been bad for many, many years, decades.” He further assured, “We’re gonna have them taken care of.”
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