Political News

Trump's call history called into question

Posted August 2

In President Donald Trump's telling, officials from Mexico City to Boy Scouts headquarters are lighting up his phone line with praise.

In the leaders' telling, though, the calls never happened.

It's an unusual pattern of pushback against the President of the United States, a frequent and expansive telephoner who sometimes hands out his personal cell number to the people he meets. And it raises questions about which presidential assertions can be believed and which cannot.

This week alone, Trump's boasts about two phone conversations have been contradicted by the alleged other parties.

On Monday, Trump heralded a call from Mexico's President about a decrease in border crossings.

"Even the President of Mexico called me," Trump asserted in the Oval Office on Monday after swearing in his new chief of staff. "Their southern border, they said very few people are coming because they know they're not going to get to our border, which is the ultimate compliment."

In Mexico, however, officials recalled a different version of events.

"President Enrique Pe-a Nieto has not been in recent communication via telephone with President Donald Trump," read a statement from the Mexican President's office.

The two leaders did meet in person on the sidelines of last month's G20 meetings in Hamburg, Germany, and did discuss migration, Pe-a Nieto's office said.

But the Mexican presidential authorities said Pe-a Nieto offered Trump a different set of figures than the ones he claimed: a 31% decrease in repatriations of Mexican citizens from the United States over the past six months and a 47% decrease in migration from central America into Mexico.

When asked about the discrepancy on Wednesday, the White House did not not respond.

It wasn't the only disputed phone call of the week. The Boy Scouts of America, which has already apologized for Trump's politically-tinged speech at its annual Jamboree, said none of their leaders phoned the President afterward to praise his appearance -- counter to Trump's own version of events.

"I got a call from the head of the Boy Scouts saying it was the greatest speech that was ever made to them, and they were very thankful," the President told The Wall Street Journal last week, according to a transcript obtained by Politico.

An official with the Scouts said on Wednesday they were not aware of any phone calls between the group's leadership and the President.

And they said their statement last week apologizing for the political tone of Trump's remarks still stood.

"The Chief Scout Executive's message to the Scouting community speaks for itself," the organization said in a statement.

Michael Surbaugh, the Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts, wrote last week that he "regrets that politics were inserted into the Scouting program" after Trump used his address to the gathering to go after his 2016 opponent, Hillary Clinton, and accuse the media of bias.

On this call, too, the White House did not comment.

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