A senior Trump administration official said that President Trump‘s upcoming visit from Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador will help build on the leaders’ relationship — while pushing back against criticism from Democrats over the meeting.
The visit is the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders. It’s scheduled to take place Wednesday at the White House.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus, comprised entirely of Democrats, accused Trump in a letter last week of staging the meeting as a distraction from what they called a “failure to lead” as many states have faced spikes in coronavirus cases.
“It’s really a shame it’s being used for political convenience,” the Trump official told Fox News. “Everyone should be proud that these two leaders have the relationship they have to deal with these issues and the challenges that we’ve faced in these times and have done so fairly successfully.”
“These days, everything is always about the political soundbite,” the official added.
The official said the Mexican president’s visit does not have any set agenda, and that “this is really a trip about these two leaders finally meeting in person … for them to really sit down and have a one on one, to discuss the whole gamut of issues.”
Given previous discussions, the official says the two will likely talk about the newly-implemented USMCA, COVID-19, supply chains, and counternarcotics. The official said there have been some “hiccups” in the counternarcotics relationship with Mexico, but that after Attorney General Barr’s trip to Mexico earlier this year, the Trump administration has seen progress in extraditions and targeting cartels’ financial assets.
The visit will include a dinner, where business guests from U.S. and Mexican companies will be in attendance. A second official said that the guests include CEOs and executives from telecom, auto, financial, transportation, energy, and media companies.