House Speaker Nancy Pelosi derided President Donald Trump Saturday for leveraging potential tariffs to convince Mexico to strengthen its border as more “threats and temper tantrums.”
Pelosi, who has been engaging the president in a war of words all week, suggested there was little diplomatic gain in the brief stand-off or the deal itself, the Washington Examiner reported.
After saying he would impose a 5% tariff on imports if Mexico did not act to fortify its border with the United States and prevent further illegal border crossings, Mexico agreed after a flurry of negotiations and Trump declared victory Friday night. (RELATED: Trump Invites WH Staff To Dispute Pelosi’s Claim That He Had A ‘Temper Tantrum’)
But it was no victory according to Pelosi.
“President Trump undermined America’s preeminent leadership role in the world by recklessly threatening to impose tariffs on our close friend and neighbor to the south,” Pelosi told reporters. “Threats and temper tantrums are no way to negotiate foreign policy.”
Earlier this week, Pelosi reportedly said that she wasn’t keen on impeaching the president because she’d rather see him “in prison.” Trump fired back at Pelosi, saying he was aghast that she would make such statements while he was out of country on an official visit to Great Britain and called the speaker a “nasty, vindictive, horrible person” while coining a new nickname for the congresswoman: “Nervous Nancy.” (RELATED: Pelosi Says Trump ‘Is Goading Us To Impeach Him’)
But the Trump administration believed it had to take action given the escalation of the border crisis and the projection from the Department of Homeland Security that more than a million people will be detained at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2019, if the current trends remain unchanged.
The negotiated deal with Mexico is potentially far-reaching.
According to a State Department news release:
Mexico will take unprecedented steps to increase enforcement to curb irregular migration, to include the deployment of its National Guard throughout Mexico, giving priority to its southern border. Mexico is also taking decisive action to dismantle human smuggling and trafficking organizations as well as their illicit financial and transportation networks. Additionally, the United States and Mexico commit to strengthen bilateral cooperation, including information sharing and coordinated actions to better protect and secure our common border.
The deal also requires that illegal immigrants entering the United States from Mexico “will be rapidly returned to Mexico where they may await the adjudication of their asylum claims.”
The latter requirement left Pelosi “deeply disappointed” and she said sending illegal refugees back where they came from “violates the rights of asylum seekers under U.S. law and fails to address the root causes of Central American migration.”