Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) asserted on Thursday that no one thought President Donald Trump meant that Mexico would pay for a border wall when he repeatedly promised it during the 2016 campaign.
During an interview on CNN, host Poppy Harlow noted that The Washington Post had recently obtained a transcript of Trump's conversation with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto. Trump admitted during the call that the wall was the "the least important thing we are talking about."
"I don't think anyone during the campaign seriously thought that Mexico was going to pay for that wall," Rooney opined. "We all believe that the wall is a metaphor for border security."
CNN co-host John Berman reminded the congressman that Trump made the promise "at every rally."
"These campaigns are full of all kinds of comments, promises, commitments, expressions, vitriolic diatribe," Rooney said. "And once the campaign is over, it's time to move on to governing."
"Time to not implement what you promised?" Berman pressed. "I'm just confused how you chalk this up to, 'Yes, this is something he said but no one believed it.'"
"There have been a lot of things that people have said during campaigns that that turned out not to be believed later," Rooney replied.
"Hold on, Congressman," Harlow interrupted. "He said it after the campaign. I mean, he said it in the White House."
"I don't think anyone really thought that the Mexicans were going to pay for the wall," Rooney insisted. "President Trump was not a professional politician."
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