Capitol Report: Trump, Mexican president contradict each other on border-wall payment

Donald Trump said he and Mexico’s president discussed a proposed wall on the U.S. southern border but said they did not talk about who would pay for it during a meeting on Wednesday.

However, President Enrique Peña Nieto contradicted that later Wednesday, saying in a tweet: “At the beginning of the conversation with Donald Trump I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall.”

Trump met Peña Nieto in a surprise meeting that took place in Mexico City just hours before the Republican presidential nominee was scheduled to give a major speech on immigration in Arizona.

Trump has repeatedly said Mexico should pay for a wall.

Also read: Company best positioned to benefit from a ‘Trump Wall’ is Mexican.

Peña Nieto, meanwhile, offered a strong defense of the North American Free Trade Agreement while standing beside Trump in a joint appearance. Trump has called NAFTA the “worst trade deal” in U.S. history.

Trump stuck by his view that NAFTA “must be improved upon.” He said he told Peña Nieto that he believes the agreement benefits Mexico more than the U.S.

In Mexico, Trump Hedges on Wall, NAFTA

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During his press appearance with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Donald Trump put a diplomatic spin on his usually blunt rhetoric about NAFTA and making Mexico pay for a border wall. Photo: Reuters

Trump has made deporting undocumented immigrants a key part of his campaign for president and called illegal immigration a “humanitarian disaster” that must be solved. The Republican nominee began his campaign with a speech that called Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals.

While the two leaders stuck a cordial tone in their public appearance, Peña Nieto has ripped Trump over some of the Republican’s positions. He has compared Trump’s rise to that of Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini.

Peña Nieto has also invited Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to visit Mexico.

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