According to the LA Times, Mexico’s top diplomat, Luis Videgaray, traveled to Washington on Thursday March 9, in order to attend several meetings with the U.S. government, sidestepping the normal channels and heading straight for the White House.
Mexican Foreign Secretary Videgaray met at the White House with President Trump’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner, along with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and Gary Cohn, a top financial aide, the Mexican government announced.
Striking in its absence from that announcement was any mention of a meeting with officials from the State Department.
It is customary for foreign secretaries from all nations to be received by their U.S. counterpart when in Washington, currently Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.
But when asked whether any sessions were scheduled at the State Department, the spokesman, Mark Toner, said he didn’t know Videgaray was in town. That disconnect suggested the State Department, under Trump, was being marginalized.
Later, however, Videgaray himself explained that he had spoken by telephone to Tillerson the night before to let him know he was arriving in Washington.
But Videgaray said the thrust of his mission meant he needed to speak directly to the White House. He and Tillerson agreed to meet in person in a couple of weeks, Videgaray said, part of an ongoing “dialogue” the two governments are holding to attempt to repair relations damaged by Trump’s bombastic campaign rhetoric against Mexico.
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