Donald Trump on Mexico Summit: ‘We Did Discuss Wall, Didn’t Discuss Payment’

GOP presidential candidate lays out five common goals the bordering countries share

Last Updated: August 31, 2016 @ 4:58 PM

Donald Trump met with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in Mexico City on Wednesday, a conversation that the Mexican leader called “very open and constructive,” with Trump discussing five shared goals.

The mutual objectives include: ending illegal immigration, securing the border, dismantling drug cartels, improving NAFTA and keep manufacturing wealth in our hemisphere.

As for the infamous border wall that, throughout his presidential campaign, Trump has promised Mexico will fund, he said they did discuss the wall but “didn’t discuss payment.”

In a televised press conference, Trump called it a “preliminary” and “excellent” meeting.

“We all share a common interest in keeping our hemisphere safe,” he said. “The bond between our two countries is deep and sincere.”

Peña Nieto spoke first and touted the benefits of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) before saying it “can be improved” and that illegal smuggling happens on both sides of the border. Peña Nieto said Mexicans deserve everybody’s respect and that his country will respect the electoral process of the United States.

“We want what’s good for the United States, the president wants what’s good for Mexico and it’s sitting down and talking … it’s better for both of us,” Trump said.

Trump thanked Peña Nieto for the “tremendous honor” and called him a “friend” before wrapping up his statements and taking a few questions from reporters. The first question was about the wall, which has been a hot topic since Trump announced his candidacy.

“We did discuss the wall, we didn’t discuss payment of the wall,” Trump said after calling it an “easy question.” The GOP nominee said talks of who would finance the wall will be for a “later date” and said “we are very well on our way.”

Last Friday, Peña Nieto invited both Trump and Hillary Clinton to Mexico, his office told the Washington Post. The Mexican president said he hopes to meet with Clinton in the near future.

Trump confidants Rudy Giuliani and Jeff Sessions joined Trump on the trip.

“What the American people are seeing today is the kind of decisive president Donald J. Trump will be. This meeting begins a relationship where we can talk about the issues we’ve got to resolve between the United States and Mexico, as well as the issues we have in common,” Trump’s running mate Mike Pence said in a statement shortly after the meeting.