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This Now Deleted Trump Campaign Memo Makes Clear That Yes, Trump Did Expect Mexico to Write a Check for the Wall, and He Had a 3 Day Plan to Make It Happen

US President Donald Trump holds up a poster of before and after photos of a segment of the border wall prototypes with Chief Patrol Agent Rodney S. Scott in San Diego, California on March 13, 2018. (Photo MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Yesterday, President Donald Trump claimed that he never said that Mexico would pay for his proposed wall along our nation's southern border, a statement which boggled the minds of just about anyone who's been paying attention to anything he's said about the wall since his 2016 presidential campaign.

"When during the campaign, I would say 'Mexico is going to pay for it.' Obviously, I never said this and I never meant they are going to write out a check," he told reporters.


The president's claim is false, of course, and a look through web archives confirms that the Trump campaign not only drafted a proposal titled "COMPELLING MEXICO TO PAY FOR THE WALL" but that Trump believed he and his team could get Mexico's government to "make a one-time payment of $5-10 billion to ensure that $24 billion continues to flow into their country year after year" in just three days:

On day 1 promulgate a "proposed rule" (regulation) amending 31 CFR 130.121 to redefine applicable financial institutions to include money transfer companies like Western Union, and redefine "account" to include wire transfers. Also include in the proposed rule a requirement that no alien may wire money outside of the United States unless the alien first provides a document establishing his lawful presence in the United States.

On day 2 Mexico will immediately protest. They receive approximately $24 billion a year in remittances from Mexican nationals working in the United States. The majority of that amount comes from illegal aliens. It serves as de facto welfare for poor families in Mexico. There is no significant social safety net provided by the state in Mexico.

On day 3 tell Mexico that if the Mexican government will contribute the funds needed to the United States to pay for the wall, the Trump Administration will not promulgate the final rule, and the regulation will not go into effect.

The president is trying to walk back statements about perhaps his signature campaign proposal, and people had plenty to say about it.

The government has been shut down since December because the president has refused to budge on his demand that a spending bill must include $5.7 billion to go toward a border wall. After today, the shutdown will become the longest one in United States history.

Earlier today, the president contradicted his own statements when he said that a new trade deal would pay for the wall "many times over."

The president had long pledged to shut down the government if it doesn’t receive the funds he needs for the border wall, though he has offered conflicting messages on how the wall would be funded.

During the presidential campaign, for example, then-candidate Trump insisted Mexico would pay for the wall.

After winning the election, the president changed his tune.

He later claimed that the U.S. budget would pay for the wall…

…before shifting the burden back to Mexico.

Soon, he claimed that Congress should pay for the wall.

Mere days later, he claimed that Congress had agreed to fund the wall.

This obviously isn’t true, and the president made no mention of this year’s spending bill, which allocates $38 million for “border barrier planning and design” but doesn’t fund the wall itself.