From The Associated Press:
MEXICO CITY (AP) — On Mexican soil for the first time as the Republican presidential nominee, a firm but measured Donald Trump defended the right of the United States to build a massive border wall along its southern flank, standing up for the centerpiece of his immigration plan in a country where he is widely despised.
But within hours of Trump’s visit, a dispute arose over the most contentious part of the billionaire’s plans to secure the U.S. southern border – his insistence that Mexico must pay to build that wall.
When answering questions from adjacent lecterns before a Mexican flag after his meeting at the official residence of the country’s president, Enrique Pena Nieto, Trump said Wednesday the two men didn’t discuss who would pay for a cost of construction pegged in the billions.
Silent at that moment, Pena Nieto later tweeted, “At the start of the conversation with Donald Trump I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall.”
With the meeting held behind closed doors, it was impossible to know who was telling the truth. But the difference in how Trump and Pena Nieto recalled their talk was an example of the political risk taken on by two unpopular politicians who arrived at the meeting having spent months quarreling from afar.
Trump began his campaign by deriding Mexico as a source of rapists and criminals, and piled on in the months to come as he attacked Mexico over free trade, illegal immigration and border security. Pena Nieto responded by condemning Trump’s language, saying those were the sort of words that gave rise to Adolf Hitler.
Pena Nieto did not …