According to the forthcoming book Border Wars, by New York Times reporters Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael Shear, Trump — on Dec. 18, 2018 — was irate after seeing the Drudge headline: “USA Giving $4.8 Billion to Mexico.”
And the president went on to dress down the aides who convinced him to make the agreement with the country.
“My f*cking friends are calling me,” Trump seethed. “This is the stupidest sh*t you’ve ever done. Why the f*ck would we do this? I’m not getting $5 billion for the wall, and instead I’m paying Mexico $5 billion?” Trump raged. “What the f*ck am I getting out of this?””
The administration had made a deal with America’s neighbors to the south, one that Trump hated, that would send $10.6 billion to four countries. More than half would go to Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua. But Mexico would collect $4.8 billion.
The money was meant to help governments tackle poverty, drug trafficking and other violence – the root causes of the illegal immigration wave the president campaigned against. But on December 18, 2018, the national news media he loves to hate framed it as a surrender.