Mexican president-elect Andrés Manuel López Obrador, 64, has reportedly been known around the White House as "Juan Trump".
According to Mark Feierstein, a former senior director for Western Hemisphere affairs at the National Security Council, wrote in America's Quarterly that Trump “sees a bit of his renegade self in Obrador (AMLO), privately calling the Mexican politician ‘Juan Trump.’
Trump is purported to have used the term “Juan Trump” more than once in the months leading up to López Obrador’s election and sees him as the "Mexican version of himself".
Feierstein also said he was told that people close to López Obrador were aware of this nickname before the article was published in Americas Quarterly, though this was disputed.
“The only way we’ve learned about this [nickname] is through the press. We don’t have any other sources of information regarding this comment … and we’ve taken it with a grain of salt,” Roberto Velasco, spokesman for Mexico's incoming foreign minister, said in a phone interview with The Washington Post.
Reforma, one of Mexico's largest newspapers, picked up the reports of the nickname and the news quickly spread on sites throughout the country.
Many Mexicans have taken offense at the purported use of the word “Juan” and have pointed out the differences between the two leaders.
Before his electoral victory in July, AMLO repeatedly distanced himself from Trump, calling him “erratic and arrogant” and views Trump's plan to build a border wall as something that 'goes against humanity..intelligence.. and history'.
The White House and the State Department have not commented on the matter.
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