Despite the admission, Trump has continued to claim Mexico will finance his racist wall.
A State Department official admitted more than a year ago that there was no plan for Mexico to pay for Trump's border wall, proving the threats Trump has made in recent months have been purely political stunts.
When asked during a June 13, 2018, Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing whether she has a plan to have Mexico pay for Trump's border wall, Kimberly Breier, then-nominee for assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, spilled the beans.
"No, but I am committed to helping secure our borders," she admitted, according to The Hill. "Mexico has consistently stated it will not pay for a border wall. The president and Congress will ultimately make a decision about funding."
Demanding the Mexican government pay for his racist wall was a major campaign promise of Trump's, and he has repeated this promise many times while occupying the White House. Trump has even recently claimed the country would pay for the wall indirectly through the renegotiated North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA); however, there is nothing in the deal that would force Mexico to pay.
"I often stated, 'One way or the other, Mexico is going to pay for the Wall,'" Trump said in a December 2018 tweet, months after Breier's testimony. "This has never changed. Our new deal with Mexico (and Canada), the USMCA, is so much better than the old... that just by the money we save, MEXICO IS PAYING FOR THE WALL!"
Unsurprisingly, Trump's tweet was a lie, and he continued to threaten to use administrative force to get his wall.
Months later, in late May 2019, Trump announced steep tariffs against Mexico as an indirect way of making the country pay. However, possibly unknown to Trump, he didn't realize or care that placing tariffs on imports would hurt U.S. consumers. He quickly backed off that threat within days.
It appears now that Trump's threats and recent promises of a Mexican-funded wall were purely a stunt to rile up his base, and not a well-thought-out strategy. It may have just been political stunt from the very beginning.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.