Trump on Making Mexico Pay for the Wall: ‘We’ve So Many Ways of Getting the Money’

‘You can do it through not giving them the subsidy that we pay them’


WOODWARD: “Congratulations. Quite a run. A victories.”
TRUMP: “Thank you, Bob, Bob, I still remember when you were up in my office many years ago and that was a great honor, believe me. A long time ago.”
WOODWARD: “Carl Bernstein and I interviewed you after your book ‘The Art of the Deal.’”
TRUMP: “That’s right.”
WOODWARD: “I want to ask about the wall you’re going to get Mexico to build. We were talking about this earlier. A number of my colleagues say you haven’t answered the question how you’re going to do that and you know from business somebody can have a good idea but how are they going to do it? And can you give us some idea?”
TRUMP: “Sure. Okay. First of all, Mexico is not going to build it, we’re going to build it. It’s going to be a serious wall, not a toy like like we have right now where cars and trucks drive over it loaded up with drugs and they sell the drugs in our country and we get the drugs they get the cash and that’s not going to happen. The reason they’re going to pay and the way they’ll pay is this, we have a trade deficit now with Mexico of $58 billion a year the wall is going to cost $10 billion a year. It’s going to be a powerful wall.”
WOODWARD: “But they’re a sovereign nation.”
TRUMP: “But when you’re losing $58 billion a year on trade, negotiation that we give subsidies to Mexico. Believe me I have all the cards. Now, will a politician be able to do it? No, they don’t know how to negotiate that’s why we have the Iran deal where we give them $150 billion and other things but for me that’s 100 percent Bob. You can hold me to it and you will hold me to it.”
WOODWARD: “OK, but how do you get a sovereign nation that says they don’t want to pay to pay?”
TRUMP: “Very simple, there are five different ways you can do it. You can do it through not giving them the subsidy that we pay them. We pay Mexico a subsidy, I don’t know if you know. The whole thing is ridiculous. We’re paying everybody subsidy. We have a small portion of China where they get a subsidy from us because they haven’t ended it for years.”
WOODWARD: “Just suppose they won’t do it. Would you —“
TRUMP: “We pay a subsidy. Money coming over the border, they’re — there are so many ways that Mexico makes money with us, Bob, there are so many different ways, five in particular, that we will take it out of there.”
WOODWARD: “I’m sorry to press on this, but how would you grab that money? If they say no, would you be willing to go to war to make sure we get the money to pay for this wall?”
TRUMP: “Trust me, Bob, when I rejuvenate our military, Mexico won’t be playing with us with war, that I can tell you. Mexico isn’t playing with us with war. Look, I have great relationships with the Mexican people I’m winning every single poll in these primaries when they go out, when the polls come back with Hispanics. I have thousands of Hispanics that work for me and tens of thousands that have worked for me over the years. I will tell you that the problem our country has is that our leaders have so weak, we have so many ways of getting the money to build the wall.”
WOODWARD: “Are you sure —“ [crosstalk]
TRUMP: “We will give them less. We will give them less. We will tax them coming in. We will tax money going out to Mexico. There are so many different ways, Bob, your head will spin.”
BRZEZINSKI: “Your head’s gonna spin.”
SCARBOROUGH: “I tell you what we’re going to do, Bob is going to come back to your office and give you that great honor. He’s going to want to follow up with more questions but we have other people around the table who want to ask questions about last night. Will you go to Donald’s office?”
WOODWARD: “Will he have me?”
SCARBOROUGH: “Of course Donald will have you. It’s a great honor.”
BRZEZINSKI: “He’s the most accessible candidate.”

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