THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING- The vile creature who inhabits the Oval Office is opining that he can pardon himself of his crimes.   If that were true, Nixon would have figured it out, wouldn’t he have? Tricky Dick was a statesman compared to the belligerent ignoramus elected by malcontent voters in 2016. This thug is isolating us from our allies, has no interest in governing, only in self-aggrandizement, lies incessantly about all matters great and small, shows more loyalty to Russia and China than to the US, vilifies loyal civil servants while sheltering abominations like Scott Pruitt, and his judicial appointments have largely been rejected as completely unqualified,  like most of his cabinet.  As ignorant as he is, his greater sin is arrogance and contempt of government in general.  I haven’t even mentioned his flagrant racism which causes him to treat the Puerto Ricans as if they are subhiman. t the  Most monstrously, he is separating  thousands of children from their parents while piously claiming  to be a champion of family values. Now the Great Negotiator,  who runs for cover whenever he is confronted with REAL negotiations, (remember the Obamacare debate?) is headed for Singapore, where he will again make a fool of himself. I don’t blame Melania for going into hiding. I’d be ashamed, too.

IT’S ELECTION DAY and I assume that you,  like all intelligent voters, have voted by mail. It’s been so long since I showed up at a precinct I wouldn’t know how to act. I have often repeated my mantra that NO ONE SHOULD GET MORE THAN TWO TERMS.  right now I’d put my money on Madrone  but in the 4th District, the Democrats have stupidly run two good candidates.  We’ll have to do better than that, won’t we?

TOM WOLFE and PHILIP ROTH-   two masters of literature died in the past few days and both were brilliant at depicting How We Live Now.  I had his Tangerine Flake etc book n that big paperback edition and I wish i still had it. My favorite Phillip Roth moment (can’t recall which book it was) was his taking  in his parents to a fancy New York restaurant and his father tells the waiter,  “Bring me a piece of fish. And make sure it’s hot”.  Sounds like my family.

TOO MUCH MEXICAN?  The City of Eureka  is oversupplied with Mexican restaurants. The Tres Chiles whatever that replaced the Marie Callendars has already been shut down briefly  by the health inspectors, is too expensive for Eureka, and had an empty parking lot when I went by during the afternoon.  They’re apparently trying to be a Mexican dinner house,  for which there’s not much demand locally.  For folks here, “casual” means “cheap” or should.  There are a few such places in SF.  Anyone remember the La Barca Room on Lombard? They were there for fifty years, closed down in 2012.  Eureka needs a Korean place,  a Greek place, and how about a REAL deli that corns its own beef?  When Tres Chiles bites the dust, who will replace them? I MISS Marie Callendars.  I never ate in the restaurant but I used to buy their quiches all the time.


From the Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group:

“Plans for the Eureka Forest Products Dock”

EUREKA— Humboldt Bay Harbor Working Group (HBHWG) will present Tracy Craig, who will 

The luncheon is scheduled for Wednesday, May 30th, at the Samoa Cookhouse.  The luncheon is a “no host” event. Lunch starts being served at noon; and the presentation starts around 12:30.
speak on behalf of PGE and address their prior ownership of the land and the extensive clean-up 100 + years later; Rich Graham the General Manager of Schmidbauer Lumber will speak about their intended use of the dock; Joel Guynup, the President of Eureka Forest Products will be present to answer any questions.  As trustee, of the Guynup Trusts Gayle C. Guynup will be available to provide some history of the dock.

This presentation is the fourth in a series on “The Development of the Port of Humboldt Bay as an International Seaport.”  The next few Luncheons will continue to be dedicated to envisioning our Harbor as an international seaport.

Fried Chicken will be served for lunch at $16 and soup and salad is available for $12.  To RSVP please contact 707-441-1974 or email:



“CRACKS IN HIGHWAY”– I hope to God I never drive down a road and see a highway marker warning of upcoming cracks in the highway such as they’re experiencing  on the Big Island.  Of course, my heart goes out to those who live their because it’s their ancestral home but those subdivisions look to me like recent construction,  funded by those who wanted cheap housing and decided to take their chances. WHO would want to live on a volcano?  Not me. The feng shui must be horrible.

COLD CUTS?  There’s a mortuary on Winding Way in FairOaks which is being converted to a restaurant. I wish them the best. I wonder what they’ll call it? The Cold  Room?  The Chiller?  I’ll be following this one.

SEAMUS T BONES:  I’m surprised to find myself posting a second good review of ST Bones,  the kind of place I usually don’t  like.  We dropped in in mid-afternoon when the place was almost empty and the server at first gave us only the bar menu,  which is extensive,   but then we were told we could order anything.  I stuck with the bar menu and had a beef slider which was excellent and a taco which was okay, plus an order of fried green beans which came with a nice chipotle mayo. ($5 for each) My friend got ziti with slices of prime rib ($16 I think. These  guys never have their full menu online) and it was a rich gooey mess with lots of cheese.  Definitely satisfying. I had crossed them off our list due to an unfortunate incident with a hair in some soup but everything was fine on our return visit. We’ll be back.   BTW they’re pushing  a new “dry-aged ” steaks treatment.

PASTA LUEGO- Have you checked out this place on the ground floor of Jacoby’s Storehouse?  The sell FRESH pasta and the best sandwiches you ever had. Highly recommended. Try the bucatini!  It’s a tubular pasta which some folks liken to eating a bunch of rubber hoses but I think it’s wonderful .

GIULIANI- WHY does the same expression occur to me every time I see him, as in “There’s no fool like an old fool”.  He was NEVER “America’s mayor”.  He was a godawful asshole as NYC’s mayor, racist and divisive just like now. He and Trump are busily destroying what is left of the Trump administration, the most corrupt and inept in history,  which is good.  The two dotards in action.

TRUMP/GATES:  I hope you all got to see the clip they were running on CNNN this weekend of Bill Gates recounting his meetings with Our Fake President.  Trump asked him TWICE what the difference was between HIV and HPV when left  the meeting by car so that he could make a helicopter entrance. The man is sick.

GRUB HUB: I saw so many of those commercials I started wondering what I could order.  Unfortunately the only restaurant that comes up currently  on their website is Tandoori Bites which already has a delivery service.  I’m not real big on Indian food but I do like shrimp curry and I just might try them.  $35 minimum for delivery.

THANK GOD HE’S GONE-  Kevin McKenny is finally bailing from the Planning Commission to which he should have never been appointed. His appointment was almost as bad as that jackass who was running the PD’s department until recently.  HOW can experienced Supes, with all the resources of the County behind them,  make such poor appointments?  Another indicator for my “two terms and out”  approach.

GUNS- The logical first step toward better gun control is to make parents liable for the mayhem their unsupervised kids cause.  Starting yesterday.

BATTLEBOTS is BACK, on Ch 31 (Discovery Channel on Suddenlink)  and ot a minute too soon.  AND the guilty pleasure show of all time, 90 Day Fiancee, is back on TLC.  I’ll watch but they will never have a trainwreck couple as good as Mohammed and Danielle.  Stay tuned.


Short Ribs and Random Thoughts- May 11 2017

Thanks for your patience.  I’m not quite well but starting to get there. And SHORT RIBS are on sale at Safeway, $4.99!!!   Had ’em last night. They were great!

OUR FAKE PRESIDENT-  has continued his descent into infamy.  His vile personality, his ignorance, his narcissism-what is there to say? Add his corruption and his utter disregard for the people he was elected to represent and you can understand why my house is a lot quieter  than it used to be since I turn down the sound whenever I see his face.  I can hardly wait till he resigns.

THE ELECTIONS-  I have not been in touch with any of the candidates but I think it’s a darn shame than Mary Ann Lyons’s bid for 4th District  Supervisor is apparently in disarray since she didn’t make the Time-Standard’s deadline for inclusion in their article.  I remember  her from the ’08  election and she was a crackerjack.  Money will apparently talk in this race  and Virginia will apparently get another term.  Does she deserve it?? I’ve been preaching for months that NO ONE should  get more than two terms at ANYTHING.  If you can’t make an impact in eight years, GET OUT!!   This also applies, of course, to the 5th District where Ryan Sundberg, a very nice guy,  is about to be turned out by Steve Madrone.  Re: the 4th, Dani Burkhart, who took on the thankless job of treasurer for the HCCDC, is also a good candidate.  Too bad she and Lyons couldn’t have worked something out. Re:  Jared Huffman’s bizarre endorsement of Ryan,  I don’t know what to say.  When Mike McGuire made that embarrassing endorsement of Rex Bohn  we all put it down to poor staff work. Who do we blame this time?

MICHAEL AVENATTI-  is a media star and good for him. He”s cute as a bug and sharp as a tack and gives me a reason to turn the sound back up.

FACEBOOK_   Are any of you still on Facebook??? For God’s sake, WHY??? Send your kitten photos by email and make your own “friends” list.  Don’t give Shmuckerburg one more cent of your  money!! And I’d hate to think any of you are depending on FB  for your NEWS.  Don’t do it!!!

EATING OUT  is something I haven’t been doing lately but I wanted to say a respectful good–bye to Liu’s.  When I worked at 3rd and D I ate lunch there once a week, always the broccoli beef  They were a solid restaurant, and will be missed. I only ate at the Black Lightning once (hate motorcycles- only tried it because I love the Richard Thompson song ( ..and he gave her his Vincent to ride…” ) but their menu was all paninis- hard to srcew up-  and they were out of their bean soup so I never got to try it. Curious to see what will go into that corner.

THE OKIE-  Of all the horrible cabinet nominations made by Our Fake President the worst may be Scott Pruitt who is dismantling the EPA as fast as he can.  No less than TEN investigations have begun into his crazy spending  of YOUR MONEY.  And Trump stands by and does nothing  while cutting children’s heath insurance. The THEFTS continue.  They are all acting like Okies set loose in a treasure hunt. What a spectacle!!




Florida lawmakers call for suspension of Broward sheriff after Parkland massacre as he defends ‘amazing leadership”

 February 25 
Broward Sheriff criticized over school shooting response

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel defended his leadership following the revelation that one of his deputies failed to engage a shooter in a high school. 

Republican state lawmakers in Florida called on Sunday for the suspension of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, accusing him of “incompetence and neglect of duty” in the months before the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran and 73 Republican colleagues urged Gov. Rick Scott (R) to suspend Israel, a Democrat who was reelected in 2016 and has said he would not resign over his agency’s handling of one of the country’s deadliest school shootings.

“Sheriff Israel failed to maintain a culture of alertness, vigilance and thoroughness amongst his deputies,” Corcoran wrote in a letter released Sunday. “As a result of Sheriff Israel’s failures, students and teachers died.”

Israel said before the letter’s release that the agency had stumbled in its handling of red flags about the accused shooter, including multiple warnings that he could carry out such an attack, but that he should not be held personally responsible.

“I can only take responsibility for what I knew about,” Israel said Sunday morning in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I’ve given amazing leadership to this agency.”

The sheriff has faced intensifying questions about his office’s response to the massacre after the revelation that an armed deputy on the scene did not enter the school while the shooter was inside. That deputy, Scot Peterson, retired last week after being suspended.

Israel said Sunday that he should not be faulted for Peterson’s actions. “You don’t measure a person’s leadership by a deputy not going in,” he said.

State Rep. Bill Hager (R-Boca Raton) sent a letter to Gov. Scott on Saturday accusing Israel of “neglect and incompetence” and calling for his removal. Israel said Sunday, “Of course I won’t resign,” adding that Hager’s letter was “shameful” and “politically motivated.”

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Sunday afternoon that it would launch an investigation, at Gov. Scott’s request, into the shooting’s law-enforcement response. Similar reviews have been put together after previous mass shootings, and they frequently identify ways law-enforcement agencies could have improved their actions before and during such attacks.

Sheriff Israel said in a statement Sunday that his agency welcomed the investigation and believed “in full transparency and accountability,” adding, “This independent, outside review will ensure public confidence in the findings.”

National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch, speaking Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” also accused the sheriff’s office of “dereliction of duty” and said Israel should face increased scrutiny.

“I wish that as much attention were given to the Broward County sheriff and their abdication of duty as trying to blame 5 million innocent law-abiding gun owners all across the country for this,” Loesch said. “I want to see as much attention on the Broward County sheriff, the FBI, the two FBI tips and the numerous calls. … Families and neighbors called the Broward County Sheriff’s Office to report this individual, and they did not follow up.”

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert W. Runcie and Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) speak to the media on Feb. 15 about the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. (Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

David Hogg, a senior at the school, called Israel “a good man” during an interview on “This Week” and said “he cares about the people.” But Hogg said there were breakdowns in procedures. “Were there mistakes made? Absolutely.”

Local and federal authorities received numerous calls about the accused shooter, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, before the attack, including at least four suggesting that he could carry out a school shooting and a 911 call saying he had pointed a gun at someone.

Israel said Sunday that most of those tips were handled appropriately but that, in two of the calls, “we’re not sure if deputies did everything they could have or should have.”

When CNN host Jake Tapper asked Israel if he thought the shooting might not have happened if the agency had done things differently, Israel said, “If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, O.J. Simpson would still be in the record books.” He added, “We understand everything wasn’t done perfectly.”

.@JakeTapper asks Broward sheriff if he thinks the Parkland shooting might not have happened if his office had done things differently.

Sheriff responds: “If ifs and butts were candy and nuts OJ Simpson would still be in the record books.”

Israel also noted that he believed Peterson’s inactions could have cost lives. “Do I believe if Scot Peterson went into that building, there was a chance he could have neutralized the killer and saved lives? Yes, I believe that,” he said.

Israel said an internal investigation into the office’s handling of the shooting is ongoing. “We will investigate every action of our deputies, of their supervisors,” he said, “and if they did things wrong, I’ll take care of business in a disciplinary matter, just like I did with Peterson.”

During a six-minute rampage inside the Parkland high school, police say, Cruz fatally shot 17 students and faculty members before blending in with the fleeing teenagers and escaping the campus. He was taken into custody later that afternoon and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Police from the neighboring city of Coral Springs have said three other Broward deputies besides Peterson were waiting behind cars outside the school when they responded to the shooting. Israel said Sunday that only Peterson, then the school resource officer, was at the school during the shooting.

A spokeswoman for Israel’s office, in a statement released late Saturday, insisted there was “no confirmation, at this time, other deputies did not enter the school when they should have.” She said this claim continues to be investigated.

The Coral Springs police said in a statement that they were “aware of media reports” but were not going to comment because of the ongoing investigation.

The Washington Post has been unable to reach Peterson, who has not spoken publicly.

Andrew Pollack, the father of Meadow Pollack, one of the students who died in the Parkland shooting, addressed Peterson during a Sunday morning appearance on the Fox broadcast network.

“There is one deputy that worked there. Peterson. He worked there, and he’s a coward,” Pollack said. “He stood by the door. I know for a fact that he could have made it to the third floor and saved all six victims, if he wasn’t some little .… Words can’t even describe the way that I think about him. But I am not trying to think about that stuff because that’s just negative and it’s just going to make me toxic.”

Some survivors of the attack have said that they understand Peterson’s reluctance to go inside, given that he may have been afraid, while others have expressed frustration at the warning signs missed over the years.

But they also said that most students are focusing their anger on pushing for new gun-control laws rather than blaming anyone for failures leading up to or during the shooting.

“I’m not angry; I understand that things happen,” said Carly Novell, a 17-year-old senior who survived the massacre. “But, really, the only way that it could have been prevented is gun control. It all leads back to the gun. He couldn’t have killed all these people if he didn’t have a gun.”

Since the Columbine massacre in 1999, it has become widely accepted police protocol to respond to active shooters by rushing to the scene and stopping the threat. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office has not responded to a request to release its active-shooter policies, but Israel had said the deputy should have rushed inside.

Israel’s office released a letter late Saturday that he wrote to Scott in response to Hager’s call for the sheriff’s removal from office.

Israel, who was reelected in 2016, stressed in the letter that Peterson was the only law enforcement officer on the campus during the shooting. He also wrote that Coral Springs police received the initial 911 call and went inside the school first without realizing that the shooter had left four minutes earlier, suggesting that these officers believed they were pursuing an armed attacker or attackers.

In his letter, Israel wrote that these Coral Springs officers were followed by others from that department and Broward sheriff’s deputies. However, his letter does not say when any of the responding officers learned that the gunfire had ended and the shooter had fled, nor does it say whether his deputies waited outside the school first before going in.

Israel’s office has declined to make him available for an interview with The Washington Post. His interview Sunday on CNN was his second appearance on the cable network in less than a week. On Wednesday, he participated in a televised town hall that the network hosted in South Florida that included survivors of the attack, their relatives and Loesch, the NRA spokeswoman.

Tapper, who also had hosted the town hall, asked Israel in the interview Sunday whether he had known during his town hall appearance that Peterson had failed to go inside. At the town hall, the sheriff had been sharply critical of the NRA spokeswoman.

Israel said that they were still investigating reports about Peterson at the time and that it was not the appropriate time to tell the families about the deputy’s actions. “I couldn’t disclose it then,” he said. “That’s not the way you do things, over a news camera. You do it individually. You meet privately with families. You have compassion. You don’t do it at a public forum. And we weren’t ready to do it anyway.”

Officials have been sharply criticized for how they handled the slew of red flags littering Cruz’s life before the shooting. Cruz repeatedly came to the attention of law enforcement officials, social services investigators and school authorities, but none of that prevented him from passing a background check and buying the AR-15 that police said he used to carry out the shooting.

The FBI admitted that it never investigated a January tip saying that Cruz could shoot up a school. The Broward sheriff’s office also said it received at least two similar warnings, but there is no evidence that either of these led to any investigation.

The Broward sheriff’s office said it has launched internal reviews of how it handled the two prior warnings, which were among 23 calls the agency said it received relating to Cruz or his family.

In a February 2016 call, a tipster warned that Cruz “planned to shoot up the school.” The information was relayed to Peterson, the sheriff’s office said, but it remains unclear what happened after.

In November 2017, a tip came in to the Broward sheriff’s office from a caller warning that Cruz was collecting guns and knives and might be “a school shooter in the making.” Cruz’s mother had died that month, and he was briefly living with a family in Palm Beach County.

The sheriff’s office said the deputy who took the call never filed a report and, speaking after the massacre, told investigators he referred the caller to the sheriff’s office in Palm Beach. However, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office told The Washington Post that it had no record of receiving that threat.

Michael Scherer, Kevin Sullivan and John Wagner contributed to this report, which has been corrected. It originally said that Andrew Pollack spoke to Fox News, rather than the Fox broadcasting network. 


From the WAPO, here’s where we stand.  Trump has alienated us from our closest allies.

After testy call with Trump over border wall, Mexican president shelves plan to visit White House

Donald Trump, then a Republican presidential candidate, at a news conference with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in Mexico City on Aug. 31, 2016. (Dario Lopez-Mills/AP)
 February 24 at 11:26 PM 
Tentative plans for Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto to make his first visit to the White House to meet with President Trump were scuttled this week after a testy call between the two leaders ended in an impasse over Trump’s promised border wall, according to U.S. and Mexican officials.Peña Nieto was eyeing an official trip to Washington this month or in March, but both countries agreed to call off the plan after Trump would not agree to publicly affirm Mexico’s position that it would not fund construction of a border wall that the Mexican people widely consider offensive, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss a confidential conversation.

Speaking by phone on Tuesday, Peña Nieto and Trump devoted a considerable portion of their roughly 50 minute conversation to the wall, and neither man would compromise his position.

One Mexican official said Trump “lost his temper.” But U.S. officials described him instead as being frustrated and exasperated, saying Trump believed it was unreasonable for Peña Nieto to expect him to back off his crowd-pleasing campaign promise of forcing Mexico to pay for the wall.

Both accounts confirm it was Peña Nieto’s desire to avoid public embarrassment — and Trump’s unwillingness to provide that assurance — that proved to be the dealbreaker.

Peña Nieto says Mexico will not pay for wall

In a televised address Jan. 25, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said that Mexico will not pay for President Trump’s border wall. 

A physically slight man, Peña Nieto has been loath to put himself in an environment in which the more imposing Trump could play the bully. Peña Nieto’s style is exceedingly formal, and he is averse to verbal combat, making his carefully scripted public events the opposite of Trump’s often freewheeling appearances.

With Mexico heading into a July presidential election, any action by Peña Nieto that could be seen as kowtowing to Trump or buckling under U.S. pressure risks damaging the prospects for his Institutional Revolutionary Party.

The two presidents’ public posturing over the wall — Trump demands that Mexico pay for it; Peña Nieto insists that it will not — has harmed their personal relationship and jeopardized the alliance between their neighboring countries.

“The problem is that President Trump has painted himself, President Peña Nieto and the bilateral relationship into a corner,” said Arturo Sarukhan, a former Mexican ambassador to the United States. “Even from the get-go, the idea of Mexico paying for the wall was never going to fly. His relationship with Mexico isn’t strategically driven. It’s not even business; it’s personal, driven by motivations and triggers, and that’s a huge problem. It could end up with the U.S. asking itself, ‘Who lost Mexico?’ ”

Still, negotiations between their respective administrations continue apace on the North American Free Trade Agreement and other issues. And both governments have strived to portray their ties as strong and the exchanges between their leaders as smooth.

“We enjoy a great relationship with Mexico and the two administrations have been working for a year to deepen our cooperation across a range of issues including security, immigration, trade and economics,” Michael Anton, the top spokesman for Trump’s National Security Council, said in a statement.

Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray called the U.S.-Mexico relationship closer under Trump than in previous administrations.

Four big takeaways from Trump’s calls to Mexican and Australian counterparts

Calls to Mexican and Australian counterparts give insight into Trump’s diplomatic style

“I think in many ways the relationship today is more fluid,” Videgaray said earlier this month in Mexico City alongside Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. “It’s closer than it was with previous administrations, which might be surprising to some people, but that’s a fact of life.”

Traditionally, U.S. presidents have prioritized visits with their Mexican counterparts soon after taking office, considering the close ties between the neighboring countries.

But in January 2017, just days into Trump’s presidency, Peña Nieto called off a planned trip to meet Trump in Washington amid an escalating war of words between the two leaders over Trump’s border wall proposal.

In a Jan. 28, 2017, phone call, a transcript of which was published last yearby The Washington Post, Trump suggested to Peña Nieto that they both try to gloss over their respective wall positions by saying “we will work it out” whenever asked whether Mexico would pay for the wall.

“The fact is, we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall,” Trump told Peña Nieto. “I have to. I have been talking about it for a two-year period. . . . If you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that.”

Since that call, Trump has not visited Mexico City and Peña Nieto has not been to Washington, although the two presidents have spoken by phone and met in person in July at the Group of 20 summit in Germany. The two also met in summer 2016, when Trump traveled to Mexico City as a candidate.

Earlier this month, a delegation of Mexican officials led by Videgaray met at the White House with senior adviser Jared Kushner — the president’s son-in-law, who is charged among other things with managing the U.S.-Mexico relationship — national security adviser H.R. McMaster and other Trump administration officials to work out the parameters for a Peña Nieto visit, officials said.

The Mexican officials left the Feb. 14 meeting believing they had an agreement with the U.S. side that Trump would not embarrass Peña Nieto by bringing up his desire for Mexico to fund the wall — a proposition Peña Nieto’s government considers humiliating.

One Mexican official describing his country’s position said, “You cannot talk about the bloody wall.” This official said Videgaray left Washington believing Trump would not broach the wall during Peña Nieto’s visit.

Trump and Peña Nieto made plans to speak by phone Feb. 20, and, assuming the call went well, their staffs would finalize an itinerary for the Mexican president’s White House visit.

But the call did not go smoothly, according to officials from both governments. Trump said he would not be bound by any such agreement and could not commit himself to not talking about the wall.

“That was a dealbreaker for us,” the Mexican official said, adding that Peña Nieto and his administration were concerned in particular about a reporter asking a question about funding for the wall at a news conference and Trump answering it.

Instead of announcing a date for a meeting in Washington, the statements issued by both governments summarizing the call were vague and said only that they had discussed their bilateral agenda on trade, security and migration issues. The statements also said the two presidents exchanged condolences for the high school gun massacre in Parkland, Fla., and the military helicopter accident in Jamiltepec, Oaxaca.

Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, whose department is responsible for border issues, has canceled an upcoming visit to Mexico. A Department of Homeland Security official denied Saturday that Nielsen’s trip was scratched because of Trump and Peña Nieto’s disagreement, saying the decision to “postpone” her Mexico trip was made a week before the two presidents spoke.

U.S. officials said Trump and Peña Nieto agreed to have their staffs continue talking and try to reach an agreement about the border wall and other issues. A few hours after the two presidents spoke, officials said, Kushner called Peña Nieto to help smooth things over.

U.S. officials said they anticipate that Peña Nieto may try again to visit Washington, perhaps in the spring, and the Mexican official suggested that the two presidents may get together in April at the Summit of the Americas in Lima, Peru.

“Build the wall!” was a signature slogan of Trump’s campaign and has continued to be one through his presidency, even though Congress has not yet fully funded its construction. At his rallies, Trump would cry out, “Who’s going to pay for the wall?” His crowds would shout their answer back: “Mexico!”

Speaking Friday at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Maryland, Trump told his fans, “Don’t worry, you’re getting the wall,” adding that whenever he hears someone suggest that he does not really want to build a wall, “the wall gets 10 feet higher.”

Trump’s statements are considered offensive and outright racist by many Mexicans, who accuse the U.S. president of using their country as a punching bag to motivate his most fervent supporters.

In private, Mexican officials bristle at Trump’s claims that their government is passively allowing drugs and Central American migrants to pass through en route to the United States.

The number of Central Americans detained and turned back by Mexican authorities has at times exceeded the number caught by U.S. border agents, but enforcement by the Peña Nieto government appears to have waned in recent years.

Still, there is an understanding in Mexico that Trump is playing to his national interests, according to Larry Rubin, a businessman who for years has been a leader among U.S. Republicans on Mexico.

“There’s a better understanding of where President Trump is coming from and what his objective is and what his style is,” Rubin said. “Like in any negotiations, there is always posturing or issues that countries don’t agree with. But overall they have so many similarities.”

Carol D. Leonnig contributed to this report.

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