Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is reportedly ready to name Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim as a member of the global conspiracy that he insists is working to deny him the presidency of the United States.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Trump is expected to claim that Slim, among the richest people in the world, is working with the Clinton campaign to damage Trump’s reputation by bringing forward women who claim the real estate magnate has assaulted them sexually.
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Slim, who was already a successful businessman when he took over the privatized Mexican telephone company Telmex in the 1990s, is chairman and chief executive of both Telmex and América Móvil, the largest mobile phone service provider in Latin America. His other business holdings are many and varied, and he also funds several charitable foundations.
Slim holds a significant minority stake in the New York Times, a fact that Trump will reportedly use to suggest collusion between the billionaire and the newspaper that late Wednesday published the stories of two women who claim Trump sexually assaulted them. The Times, which has endorsed Hillary Clinton, said in a statement that its editorial decisions remain independent, and that Slim has never attempted to influence them on any topic.
Trump’s plan, according to the Journal, is to link Slim to a larger cabal controlled by his Democratic challenger for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, and her husband, former president Bill Clinton.
“The Clinton machine is at the center of this power structure,” he said in a speech Thursday. “We’ve seen this firsthand in the WikiLeaks documents, in which Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special-interest friends and her donors.”
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If Trump goes through with the plan to add Slim to the list of global financial titans he claims to see aligning against him, it wouldn’t be the first time the Mexican billionaire has played a tangential role in the presidential campaign.
Trump, who famously began his campaign by railing against the “rapists” and other criminals he claimed were pouring into the country from Mexico, also made the construction of a massive border wall -- that he insists Mexico will pay for -- one of his key policy positions.
Trump’s comments infuriated Mexican and Mexican-Americans. Less than two weeks later, a television network backed by Slim and América Móvil cancelled a project it was working on in conjunction with Trump-owned companies.
At the time, Slim’s son-in-law and spokesperson, Arturo Elias, called Trump’s comments “racist” and said, “His statement was totally out of line...working with someone so closed-minded was not going to work.”