On Wednesday, Donald Trump went to Mexico to meet with President Enrique Peña Nieto in a controversial and closed door meeting. The trip had a very impromptu air, leading many to wonder what policies would be the topic of conversation and whether or not Trump’s proposed border wall would be discussed.
In the subsequent press conference, the two men seemed to politely disagree on most matters, or at least with how to deal with them. According to Nieto, “Undocumented immigration from Mexico to the U.S. had its highest point 10 years ago and it has slowed down consistently, even to the point of being negative in a net effect at this point.” However, Trump refused to back down from his campaign’s central tenets, making it clear that the wall was still of key importance to his platform.
“Having a secure border is a sovereign right,” he said. “We recognize and respect the right of either country to build a physical barrier or wall on any of its borders to stop the illegal movement of people, drugs, and weapons… Cooperation toward achieving the shared objective, and it will be shared, of safety for all citizens is paramount to the United States and Mexico.”
However, while Trump claimed that he hadn’t discussed the finer points of Mexico’s involvement and payment with the proposed wall with Nieto, the Mexican President has since contradicted that claim, telling the press that he told Trump that Mexico would not pay for the wall.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller issued a statement on the president’s response, claiming that the meeting was merely “the first part of the discussion” and that it was “not a negotiation, and that would have been inappropriate. It is unsurprising that they hold two different views on this issue, and we look forward to continuing the conversation.”