White House

Trump moving on NAFTA, won't release tax returns; WH closer to moving embassy to Jerusalem

John Roberts reports on the new president's visit to CIA headquarters

 

President Trump said Sunday that he’ll discuss immigration and renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement when he meets soon with the leaders of Canada and Mexico, part of a busy fourth day for his administration.

“Anybody ever hear of NAFTA,” Trump said during a White House swearing-in of several top administration officials including senior adviser Kellyanne Conway. “I ran a campaign somewhat based on NAFTA, on immigration and security at the border. And Mexico has been terrific.”

The president will meet on Jan. 31 with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, according to the White House.

To be sure, Trump ran for office on a pledge to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and have Mexico pay for it. And he reiterated that promise following the election.

The president is also expected to meet soon with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, whose country is also a partner in NAFTA.

Trump has blamed the three-nation trade pact for disadvantaging American workers and leading companies to move out of the United States.

Earlier in the day, White House officials said that they are having preliminary discussions about plans to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and, separately, that President Trump will not release his tax returns.

The statement about officials being at the “very beginning” of discussions on possibly moving the embassy follows reports in Israeli media that Trump had imminent plans to announce the move.

Trump, who has said he would move the embassy to Jerusalem, spoke Sunday to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu by telephone.

Previous presidential candidates also have promised to make the embassy move. But presidents have avoided following through on that pledge in part because of concerns that it would inflame tensions in the Middle East.

In addition, Conway said Sunday that Trump won’t release his tax returns, appearing to shut the door on a decades-long tradition of transparency.

Every president since 1976 has released their returns. During the campaign, Trump refused to make his filings public, saying they were under audit by the Internal Revenue Service and saying he'd release them after that review is complete.

Conway was asked Sunday about a petition on the White House website signed by more than 200,000 people calling for Trump to release his returns.

"The White House response is that he's not going to release his tax returns," she said on ABC’s “This Week.” "We litigated this all through the election. People didn't care."

However, polls appear to show a majority of Americans want Trump to release the returns.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.