Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gave the best possible introduction to his Arizona speech outlining his immigrations policy — by meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, like two world leaders.
The meeting was at the request of Pena Nieto.
I have accepted the invitation of President Enrique Pena Nieto, of Mexico, and look very much forward to meeting him tomorrow.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2016
There were no protesters that met Trump’s plane when it landed in Mexico City. From there, a helicopter whisked him off to the presidential palace, where the two discussed the Republican’s plans to build a border wall if elected.
Afterwards, Trump described the president as “my friend” and the meeting as being “excellent, tremendous.”
Trump didn’t back down on his plans to build a wall at the U.S. southern border. Trump said that the pair didn’t discuss who would pay for constructing the proposed wall, telling reporters that the issue would be discussed at a “later date.” He called it a very “very preliminary” meeting.
During the speech, Trump continued to stick to his guns.
“We will build a great wall along our southern border,” Trump told the crowd Wednesday night. “They don’t know it yet, but they’re going to pay for the wall.”
The Mexican president however, tweeted afterwards: “At the beginning of the conversation with Donald Trump I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the 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
On that basis, critics were quick to claim that Trump lied on that issue. The Wall Street Journal’s Reid Epstein cleared that discrepancy up with a tweet that said Nieto’s spokesman confirmed Trump was not “lying.”
EPN spox to @davidluhnow: EPN told Trump no wall $$, Trump didnt react. “Mr. Trump was not lying … because there was no discussion.”
— Reid J. Epstein (@reidepstein) September 1, 2016
Trump took command of the press briefing and appeared to be at ease as he fielded reporters’ questions after the pair made their prepared remarks, something which is never done in Mexico, the Times reported.
TribLIVE – Trump meets with Mexican president – MEXICO CITY — Standing alongside the president of Mexico, a mea… https://t.co/Z5bJYIAU5O
— Pennsylvania News (@nepennsylvania) August 31, 2016
In addition to immigration, Trump said the two discussed trade, specifically “improving” NAFTA — the North American Free Trade Agreement.
Here are a few highlights from that visit.
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Clip via USA Today
Trump tells reporters discussed the wall with Nieto, but not discuss payment of the wall:
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