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Trump should buy Mexico's presidential jet - Lopez Obrador jokes

Trump should buy Mexico's presidential jet - Lopez Obrador jokes
FILE PHOTO - Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador attends a news conference at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, May 31, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Romero -
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HENRY ROMERO(Reuters)
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MEXICOCITY (Reuters) – The luxury presidential plane that whisked Mexico’s former leader around the world but is now for sale should tempt Donald Trump to open his wallet, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador joked on Friday.

“I’m going to make him an offer the next time I talk to him on the phone,” he said in a speech to a smattering of applause.

Lopez Obrador won a landslide election last year railing against government privileges including the presidential Boeing 787 Dreamliner, lambasting such perks as an affront to the legions of poor Mexicans.

As he was giving the speech, Lopez Obrador emphasized his 10-month-old government’s anti-corruption drive and he then reminded his audience that one of his first official acts was to put up for sale the airliner fitted with a large presidential bed and marble bathroom that former President Enrique Pena Nieto used.

“Donald Trump doesn’t even have a plane like it. I don’t know why he’s not interested. We’ll sell it to him!” Lopez Obrador said with a smirk.

Lopez Obrador, who lives frugally and takes commercial flights, was speaking in northern Coahuila state, just south of the U.S. state of Texas.

The presidential jet was acquired in late 2012, just as Pena Nieto took office, and is one of more than 70 government planes and helicopters that are slated to be sold on orders from the current president.

Lopez Obrador has previously said that the plane’s price tag would start at $150 million, citing a United Nations evaluation.

Earlier this year, Lopez Obrador said proceeds from the sale of the jet and other aircraft from the last government would help fund efforts to curb U.S.-bound migration, one of Trump’s top priorities.

(Reporting by David Alire Garcia; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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