Update: Speaking at a press conference in Mexico City, Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim said announced he is willing to help the government negotiate with Donald Trump, and called on Mexicans from all political parties to unite behind President Enrique Pena Nieto. In a rare news conference by the generally media-shy mogul, Slim said Mexico needed to negotiate from a position of strength, noting that Trump, who he called a “great negotiator,” represented a major change in how politics is conducted.
Here are a couple of the key comments so far:
- SLIM SAYS HE’S PLEASED TO SEE HOW MEXICO HAS UNITED
- MEXICANS COMING TOGETHER IN SUPPORT SURPRISED ME, SLIM SAYS
- THIS IS AN ARDUOUS, DIFFICULT NEGOTIATION W/U.S.
- SLIM SAYS BORDER TARIFFS WOULD BE PAID BY U.S. CONSUMERS
- TRUMP HAS MORE STRENGTH DUE TO STRENGTH OF U.S. ECONOMY
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Just over a month ago, President-elect Trump and Mexico’s richest man, Carlos Slim, enjoyed what was described by Trump as “a lovely dinner with a wonderful man” at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. Many viewed the meeting a start toward thawing relations with Mexico after a hard-fought campaign in which Trump relentlessly hammered our southern neighbor over jobs and illegal immigration. Per the Washington Post:
Trump and Slim’s dinner was designed to open a friendly line of communication rather than delve into policy details, according to people briefed on the discussions.
Slim’s visit to Mar-a-Lago came after Corey Lewandowski, a former Trump campaign manager who remains a confidant of the president-elect, quietly visited Mexico City on Dec. 9 to meet with Slim.
After the election, Slim connected with Lewandowski — someone he saw as having Trump’s ear but not as a formal member of his staff — and arranged for them to discuss trade, economic and other issues, according to people with knowledge of the session.
Trump even commemorated the dinner with a tweet:
That said, all may not be well between the two billionaires who butted headed several times during the contentious 2016 Presidential campaign cycle after Slim’s TV station in Mexico referred to Trump as a “racist” and refused to cover his Miss Universe pageant. Trump later released a statement accusing Slim of colluding with the New York Times and Hillary to undermine his campaign: “The New York Times strings are being pulled by Mexico’s Carlos Slim, a billionaire who benefits from Nafta and supports Hillary Clinton’s open border policies.”
Now, just yesterday the relationship between Trump and Mexican President Pena Nieto seemingly soured over Twitter starting with the following tweets…
…which sent the Mexican Peso gyrating all over the place as perplexed traders tried to figure out what the Twitter wars will actually mean from a practical perspective…
…and has culminated with Carlos Slim calling a very rare press conference scheduled for 2PM EST….will he call for an economic truce or take more of a Vicente Fox approach to the “fucking wall”?
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