Trump mak­ing surprise trip to Mex­ico be­fore im­mi­gra­tion speech

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

EVERETT — In a surprise move, Don­ald Trump was to travel to Mex­ico yes­ter­day to meet with Pres­i­dent En­rique Pena Ni­eto, just hours be­fore the Repub­li­can de­liv­ers a highly an­tic­i­pated speech on im­mi­gra­tion.

Trump took to Twit­ter on Tues­day night to say he looks “very much for­ward” to meet­ing with the Mex­i­can leader. Pena Ni­eto’s of­fice con­firmed the meet­ing with its own tweet, say­ing the two men would meet pri­vately.

The un­ex­pected trip comes as Trump seeks to clar­ify his stand on il­le­gal im­mi­gra­tion, a con­tentious is­sue that has been a cen­ter­piece of his Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial cam­paign.

Trump has long called for de­port­ing peo­ple cur­rently liv­ing in the US il­le­gally and build­ing a wall along the coun­try’s border with Mex­ico.

But in meet­ings re­cently with His­panic sup­port­ers, Trump has sug­gested he could be open to chang­ing the hard­line ap­proach he out­lined dur­ing the GOP pri­maries.

After one such round­table this month, his new cam­paign man­ager said Trump’s stance on de­por­ta­tions was “to be de­ter­mined.”

In the days since, Trump and his staff have broad­cast varied and con­flict­ing mes­sages, with Trump him­self say­ing one day he might be open to “soft­en­ing” his stance, and days later say­ing he might, in fact, be “hard­en­ing.”

Pena Ni­eto has been sharply crit­i­cal of Trump’s orig­i­nal im­mi­gra­tion pol­icy, par­tic­u­larly the Repub­li­can’s in­sis­tence that Mex­ico would pay for the border wall. In a March in­ter­view, Pena Ni­eto said that “there is no sce­nario” un­der which Mex­ico would do so.

In the same in­ter­view, Pena Ni­eto com­pared Trump’s lan­guage to that of dic­ta­tors Adolf Hitler and Ben­ito Mus­solini, say­ing it had hurt US-Mex­ico re­la­tions.

For­mer Mex­i­can Pres­i­dents Vi­cente Fox and Felipe Calderon have also al­luded to Hitler in de­scrib­ing Trump.

New Jer­sey Gov. Chris Christie, a close Trump ad­viser, has been among those push­ing Trump to make the trip to Mex­ico, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with their con­ver­sa­tions who spoke on the con­di­tion of anonymity in or­der to dis­cuss them pub­licly.

Christie made his own suc­cess­ful trip to Mex­ico City in Septem­ber 2014 and has a warm re­la­tion­ship with the Mex­i­can pres­i­dent.

Pena Ni­eto ex­tended in­vi­ta­tions to visit Mex­ico to both Trump and Demo­crat Hil­lary Clin­ton last week. The Wash­ing­ton Post first re­ported on Tues­day that Trump was con­sid­er­ing mak­ing the trip to Mex­ico.

Trump was sched­uled to speak on im­mi­gra­tion last evening in Phoenix. He was al­ready out West on Tues­day for a cam­paign stop near Seat­tle, giv­ing him enough time to jet to Mex­ico be­fore the speech yes­ter­day.

Trump’s short stop in Mex­ico marks his first cam­paign visit to a for­eign coun­try. The Repub­li­can has faced a tor­rent of crit­i­cism from Clin­ton, a for­mer sec­re­tary of state, about his pre­pared­ness to lead on the world stage.

Sev­eral Repub­li­can for­eign pol­icy ex­perts have also warned that Trump is un­pre­pared for the nu­mer­ous in­ter­na­tional is­sues that land on a pres­i­dent’s desk.

Clin­ton’s cam­paign has urged vot­ers to not “be fooled” by what it calls Trump’s at­tempts to disguise his im­mi­gra­tion poli­cies.

“Don­ald Trump will be who he has al­ways been: Don­ald Trump,” the cam­paign said in an email Tues­day night.

Mean­while, the State De­part­ment says about 30 emails in­volv­ing the 2012 at­tack on US com­pounds in Beng­hazi, Libya, are among the thou­sands of Hil­lary Clin­ton emails re­cov­ered dur­ing the FBI’s re­cently closed in­ves­ti­ga­tion into her use of a pri­vate server.

Gov­ern­ment lawyers told US Dis­trict Court Judge Amit Mehta on Tues­day that an un­de­ter­mined num­ber of the emails among the 30 were not in­cluded in the 55 000 pages pre­vi­ously pro­vided by Clin­ton to the State De­part­ment.

The agency said it would need un­til the end of Septem­ber to re­view the emails and redact po­ten­tially clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion be­fore they are re­leased.

The hear­ing was held in one of sev­eral law­suits filed by the con­ser­va­tive le­gal group Ju­di­cial Watch, which has sued over ac­cess to gov­ern­ment records in­volv­ing the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nee.

The State De­part­ment has said the FBI pro­vided it with about 14 900 emails pur­ported not to have been among those pre­vi­ously re­leased. Clin­ton pre­vi­ously had said she with­held and deleted only per­sonal emails not re­lated to her du­ties as sec­re­tary of state.— AFP

Don­ald Trump

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