Trump to Mexican President: Stop Telling Media You Won’t Pay for Wall

Washington Post publishes transcript as Justice Department gears up for crackdown on leaks

President Trump

The leaks continue to roll out of the White House.

On Thursday, the Washington Post obtained a transcript of classified conversations between President Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, in which Trump urges Nieto to stop saying Mexico won’t pay for the border wall.

“You cannot say that to the press,” Trump said repeatedly throughout the Jan. 27 call.

Trump told Mexico’s leader that the funding “will work out in the formula somehow,” but said he needs to stop publicly saying Mexico won’t cover the costs.

“If you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that,” Trump said.

A wall on the southern border was one of the major promises that Trump made throughout his campaign; he regularly said Mexico would pay for the wall. Trump also told Nieto that the wall is “the least important thing we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important.”

A transcript of the conversation was obtained by the Post and published one day before Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ scheduled event to discuss the ongoing problem of leaks within the administration. The Justice Department plans to crack down on leaks and Trump has repeatedly blasted leakers on Twitter and during speaking engagements.

In total, the Post obtained 52 pages of transcripts of calls Trump held with Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. They were presumably leaked by someone close to the president, as White House staffers produced the transcript. Similar documents are commonly circulated to White House staff and senior policymakers, according to the Post.