NBC Unwilling to Admit Trump’s Hardball Negotiation Tactic Against Mexico Worked

After putting pressure on Mexico with threats of escalating tariffs, President Trump’s hardball negotiation tactics finally got them to cave and take action to stem the flow of migrants looking to break into the U.S. It was a victory for the President the liberal media was forced to concede, much to their chagrin. But during Sunday Today, NBC News tried to downplay the win my suggesting Trump only achieved results that were already coming.

NBC White House correspondent Mike Viqueira began his report by elevating critics and pooh-poohing the win. “But a look at the details reveals that the agreement is an expansion of deals already made with Mexico and critics are calling it little more than a fig leaf,” he chided.

In a rundown of what was agreed to Viqueira noted (click “expand”):

The five percent tariff threat, scheduled to be implemented Monday, was aimed at forcing Mexico to slow the surge of Central American migrants to the U.S. border. After three days of talks, Mexico now promises to increase the number of its National Guard troops at its border with Guatemala, and expand an existing program that requires some asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed in the U.S.

A short time, later, fellow White House correspondent Kristen Welker admitted that the troop movement was “something they had promised a long time ago. But the U.S. said this week you need to get it done more quickly. They were sort of slow walking that.” Despite admitting that the Mexicans weren’t really serious about moving troops before Trump’s tariff threat, she suggested they were something “already coming”.

 

 

Continuing to harp on the idea that Trump didn’t get anything new for his efforts, Welker tried to downplay the changes made to the asylum seeking process:

The other provision that they had talked about and which Mexico had agreed to sort of in a smaller fashion was to hold asylum seekers in Mexico while their claims were being processed. That was happening at certain ports of entry. What happened this week was that Mexico said, “Look, we will do this across the entire southern border.” And both countries, Willie, and this is key, agree to actually provide the resources to make that happen.

But last Thursday’s CBS Evening News, White House correspondent Weijia Jiang reported that “Mexico has pledged to change its asylum policy so that migrants would apply for asylum there instead of continuing to the U.S.”

Welker also took a jab at how Trump’s “sort of big talking point”, aka the strong economy, might be in jeopardy because of the trade dispute with China and the new “disappointing” jobs numbers. But meanwhile, none of NBC News’s flagship newscasts dared to touch April’s stellar jobs numbers, or much of the other positive economic news for that matter.

Instead, Viqueira hyped anti-Trump condemnation from bitter Democrats: “But Democrats keep scorn on the President and his deal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi writing, ‘Threats and temper tantrums are no way to negotiate foreign policy.’ While the top Senate Democrat, Chuck Schumer, sees it as little more than presidential face-saving, writing, ‘The President backed off.’”

Priorities.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

NBC’s Sunday Today
June 9, 2019
8:02:06 a.m. Eastern

WILLIE GEIST: Let's begin this morning with the roller coaster week of trade and immigration talks with Mexico, ending with President Trump calling off his tariff threat, and claiming victory. But the fight isn't over yet. Now the president's treasury secretary is pointing the finger at China, urging that country to reach its own deal with the U.S. NBC’s Mike Viqueira is at the White House for us. Mike, good morning.

MIKE VIQUEIRA: Well, good morning to you, Willie. The deal came at the last possible moment and it means that President Trump's threat of a five percent tariff on Mexican goods is off for now. But a look at the details reveals that the agreement is an expansion of deals already made with Mexico and critics are calling it little more than a fig leaf.

[Cuts to video]

In a series of tweets Saturday, President Trump declaring victory. “Mexico will try very hard and if they do that, this will be a very successful agreement for both the United States and Mexico.”

The five percent tariff threat, scheduled to be implemented Monday, was aimed at forcing Mexico to slow the surge of Central American migrants to the U.S. border. After three days of talks, Mexico now promises to increase the number of its National Guard troops at its border with Guatemala, and expand an existing program that requires some asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their claims are processed in the U.S.

Mr. Trump's proposed tariffs faced a Republican rebellion in Congress. With the threat gone for now, many trump allies welcome the news.

SEN. JODI ERNST: We are breathing a sigh of relief.

VIQUEIRA: But Democrats keep scorn on the President and his deal. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi writing, “Threats and temper tantrums are no way to negotiate foreign policy.” While the top Senate Democrat, Chuck Schumer, sees it as little more than presidential face-saving, writing, “The President backed off.”

But even as the deal with Mexico takes shape, tariffs against another major trading partner, China, remain in place, and could go higher. Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin in the region ahead of a crucial meeting with Chinese officials, blames China for a breakdown in the talks.

With 19 democratic candidates for president descending on Iowa this weekend, the President's tariff war is becoming a major issue.

BETO O’ROURKE: They’re attacks on the U.S. consumer and they are punishing the Iowa farmer.

(…)

8:05:02 a.m. Eastern

GEIST: So, let’s start with that tariff deal. I guess my question was, is it really a tariff deal or are a lot of the concessions made by the Mexicans already coming?

KRISTEN WELKER: Some of them were already coming. For example, Mexico has said they're going to send 6,000 National Guard troops to the Guatemalan border. That's something they had promised a long time ago. But the U.S. said this week you need to get it done more quickly. They were sort of slow walking that.

The other provision that they had talked about and which Mexico had agreed to sort of in a smaller fashion was to hold asylum seekers in Mexico while their claims were being processed. That was happening at certain ports of entry. What happened this week was that Mexico said, “Look, we will do this across the entire southern border.” And both countries, Willie, and this is key, agree to actually provide the resources to make that happen.

So, more judges on the U.S. side. Mexico is going to need more detention centers. There are still a lot of sticking points. A White House official said to me, “Look, we're in a wait-and-see pattern, we want to see if the numbers of migrants actually decrease, if they don't decrease quickly enough, you can see that tariff threat get resumed by the President again.”

GEIST: And you hear the President saying, “for all the criticism I got for threatening tariffs, look what I got out of it.” It was a negotiating tactic. And now Steve Mnuchin, the treasury secretary saying, “Let's try that with China as well.”

WELKER: That's right. The pressure to get a deal with China, I think, is pretty big, Willie, because look at what’s happening with the economy. This is the President’s sort of big talking point for his re-election. That the economy is very strong. This week we got new jobs numbers that were disappointing based on what analysts were expecting.

And so, the concern is, look, if they don't get a deal with China. Is that ultimately going to hurt the economy? Could that make it tougher for the President to continue to make the case that the economy is one of the strongest in decades? I think that that was one of the factors that contributed to the President wanting to get a deal with Mexico, but we'll have to see if they can make it work with China.

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