How diplomatic is Trump’s Mexican wall?

U.S. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump arrive for a press conference at the Los Pinos residence in Mexico City, Mexico, August 31, 2016. © Henry Romero
The real task of Trump’s Mexico visit was to send a consolatory message that it is in the US’ interests to make deals and get along with important neighbors, rather than discuss who would pay for the wall, says Jim Jatras, former GOP Senate foreign policy advisor.

Jim Jatras spoke to RT America’s Simone Del Rosario in the FishTank.  

Donald Trump recently visited Mexico, to discuss the question of illegal immigration with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

However, as soon as the Republican Presidential candidate returned to the US, he wrote on his Twitter account: “Mexico will pay for the wall!”

In response to this statement Pena Nieto wrote that Mexicans “will never pay for a wall.”

RT: Was it a good idea for Trump to hit back on this so soon after his meeting? It wasn’t very diplomatic of him, was it?

Jim Jatras: No, that is a style. What was diplomatic of him was to go to Mexico City, for him to stand side by side with the Mexican President and look Presidential himself. In reference back – people will look back on this as one of the turning points in the campaign. We have the incredible shrinking Hillary, who can’t be found anywhere. And there is Trump looking and sounding like a president.

RT: However, when he was standing there next to the President he never said anything about Mexico paying for the wall, which is something that reporters paid attention to at that moment. If he really believed that, why didn’t he say it there?

JJ: Because I think the reporters [are] going to want to need to pick on things like that. That wasn’t his task in going to Mexico. His task was the other side of his message, which is: if America first, American national interest also means making deals with people, making good deals with people; getting along with our neighbors, and Mexico, along with Canada, is one of our most important neighbors. I think he went there to send that consolatory message.

RT: He said time and time again he is going to get a large portion of the Latino vote. How in the world, do you think, he is going to do that, when he continues this kind of rhetoric and policies? 

JJ: Part of this has to do with how many Latinos see their self-interest primarily in terms of amnesty [and] immigration. And how many of them share the same values as other Americans – white, black, red, purple, whatever they might be – that what we need is jobs; what we need is economy; what draws us together as Americans. And frankly, illegal immigration drags down wages of people of all ethnic backgrounds. On the question of what happens at the end of the day, once the faucet is turned off, and we have to look at all the water that spilled over the tub. Will the door be shut absolutely on what we do with people who are left in the country at that point? Even in his speech in Arizona, he didn’t close that door; he didn’t open it; he didn’t say we’re going to have that solution, but he didn’t close that either.   

Jatras also gave his opinion regarding Hillary Clinton’s accusations of Russian President Vladimir Putin being the “godfather” of the alt-right movement.

The Democratic presidential hopeful also said that British Politian Nigel Farage regularly appears on “Russian propaganda programs,” and Trump embraces pro-Russian policies.

RT: Do her words make any sense? By saying this was she giving legitimacy to a number of fringe hate movement?

JJ: Just Google: “Hillary and tin foil hat,” cause this was her tin foil hat speech… There is a reason she is not following up with it. Ok, ”Putin is the grand dragon of the world racist movement in link with Pepe, the alt-right cartoon frog”, I guess. It is just so bizarre, that even with the sort of Democrat standard: “racist, racist, racist” name, it doesn’t simple have any legs.

Meanwhile we hear her speaking to veterans this week, calling for military action against Russia over alleged cyber hacking. We’re looking at somebody, who really doesn’t have a grasp on reality.

RT: How can the Republican Party or any party for that matter respond to accusations like that?

JJ: I think almost they don’t need to. The way Trump slapped it down right afterward … Even the establishment Republicans, who usually run like frightened kittens, whenever anybody calls them a racist, even they are not really bothering with this thing.

The speech was so bizarre, that she hasn’t really returned to this theme, even though usually it is a part of the standard Democratic playbook. They are still going to call Trump a racist. We’ll see how his talks with African Americans go in the next couple of days. But I think this alt-right thing was really a flop for her.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.