Posted: 4:49 pm Wednesday, August 31st, 2016
By Jamie Dupree
Hours before giving a speech on immigration in Arizona, Donald Trump flew to Mexico City to meet with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, as Trump demanded that Mexico and the United States work together on trade, drugs, immigration and more.
Both men used an opening statement to reporters to frame the meeting from their own perspective, as the Mexican leader voiced his support for the NAFTA trade deal, and urged the U.S. to do more to stop weapons and money from flowing to drug cartels in Mexico.
“Mr. Trump and I had an open and constructive discussion,” Pena Nieto said, as Trump listened with an interpreter at his side.
— Independent US (@IndyUSA) August 31, 2016
In his public remarks, Trump set out a five point plan for relations with Mexico, led by his call to end illegal immigration.
Trump also made clear that nations have the right to build barriers – like a wall – along their borders, but Trump admitted to reporters that he did not press the Mexican leader to pay for the wall, as he often tells his campaign audiences.
“We did discuss the wall, we didn’t discuss payment of the wall. That will be for a later date,” Trump said.
"We did discuss the wall. We didn't discuss payment of the wall. That'll be for a later date. This was a very preliminary meeting." -Trump
— Bryan Anderson (@BryanRAnderson) August 31, 2016
But later on Twitter, the Mexican leader said he had said directly to Trump that Mexico was not going to pay for any U.S. border wall.
Al inicio de la conversación con Donald Trump dejé claro que México no pagará por el muro.
— Enrique Peña Nieto (@EPN) August 31, 2016
Pena Nieto made clear that he has invited both Trump and Hillary Clinton to meet with him; Trump was the first to respond, and even some Trump critics felt it helped his campaign.
Hard when you're a challenger to seem presidential. Trump standing there–for all the awkwardness–looks presidential. Good day for Trump.
— Bill Kristol (@BillKristol) August 31, 2016
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.