- The Washington Times - Sunday, June 9, 2019

Mexico’s Ambassador to the U.S. Martha Barcena refuted Sunday a CBS News report saying that she contradicted President Trump during an interview on “Face the Nation,” prompting the network to backtrack on its claim.

In an interview, Ms. Barcena said purchases of U.S. goods would rise as a result of two events: Mr. Trump suspending his threat to impose tariffs as a result of Friday’s border-security deal, and pending ratification of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada [USMCA] trade agreement.

“It is our understanding that without tariffs and with USMCA ratification, there will be an increased rate, both in agricultural products and manufactured products,” said Ms. Barcena on “Face the Nation.”

CBS posted an article headlined, “Mexican ambassador contradicts Trump claim of new agriculture deal,” but changed it to “Mexican ambassador won’t say whether Mexico agreed to new agricultural deal” after she pushed back.

A tweet reporting that she contradicted the president was also apparently deleted.

“I did not contradict the president of the USA @realDonaldTrump,” Ms. Barcena tweeted. “I just explained that with no tariffs and the USMCA ratification the trade in agricultural products will increase dramatically. Mexico is already a big buyer of USA agricultural products and this trend will continue.”

“Face the Nation” then posted a video on Twitter saying, “Here’s the clip, you decide,” and posted an editor’s note at the end of the story.

“Editor’s note: A previous version of this headline that said Bárcena Coqui contradicted the president has been updated to more accurately reflect the ambassador’s comments,” said the network.

“Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan quizzed Ms. Barcena on whether there was “any kind of agreement by your government to buy agricultural products,” an apparent reference to Mr. Trump’s tweet Saturday that “Mexico has agreed to immediately begin buying large quantities of agricultural product.”

“Is trade on agricultural products going to grow? Yes, it is going to grow, and it is going to grow without tariffs and with USMCA ratification,” said Ms. Barcena during the interview.

After CBS reported that she had contradicted the president, Jose Diaz-Bresno, correspondent for the Mexico City newspaper Reforma, tweeted, “True headline: MX Ambassador AVOIDS contradicting Trump,” then posted the old and new tweets.

Ms. Barcena also said that more National Guard forces would be deployed Monday to stem the tide of Central American migrants moving through Mexico on their way to the U.S. border.

“The deployment throughout the country has been- has already begun and it will increase next Monday,” she said.

She took issue with the description of the National Guard members as “troops,” saying they have more in common with a police force or civil guard than the military.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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