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President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at the White House President Donald Trump and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador in the Rose Garden at the White House, Washington, July 8, 2020 (AP photo by Evan Vucci).

AMLO’s Strange Trip to Washington Baffles Mexicans but Thrills Trump

Thursday, July 9, 2020

From the moment Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador announced plans for his first state visit to the United States, where he would meet with President Donald Trump at the White House, the news was greeted with a mixture of revulsion and astonishment. At home and abroad, critics and observers marveled at a decision to undertake a diplomatic mission so rife with potential to cause damage to Mexico and such negligible upside. The lone voices of support maintained that the lopsided odds belied the finely honed political instincts of AMLO, as Mexico’s president is widely known.

Dismissing his critics, the populist leader Tuesday took his seat in coach on a commercial flight to Atlanta, where he changed planes on the way to Washington, as critics cringed at the repercussions of his gamble. Only Trump is all but assured to benefit from the jaunt. Most everyone else has been left wondering why on Earth AMLO chose to meet with an American president who has made a political punching bag of Mexico, at this charged moment, with less than four months left until Election Day in the United States. ...

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