Mexican President Cancels Trump Meeting Over Wall

Trump tweets threat to cancel meeting if Mexico won't pay for wall, Peña Nieto does it first

President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence return to the White House after visiting the Department of Homeland Security last week. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence return to the White House after visiting the Department of Homeland Security last week. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Posted January 26, 2017 at 10:04am

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto canceled his meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday after Trump threatened to do it first.

Peña Nieto tweeted the cancellation in Spanish, which translates roughly to, “This morning, I informed the White House that I would not attend the meeting scheduled next week with the President.”

Trump tweeted earlier Thursday that if Mexico wasn’t going to pay for the border wall the president campaigned on, then he should cancel his meeting with Peña Nieto that was scheduled for Tuesday.

The president appeared to be responding to a message from Peña Nieto released Wednesday in which he said he “regrets and rejects” a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border after Trump signed an executive order to begin construction.

“I regret and reject the decision of the United States to continue building a wall that, that for years, far from uniting us, divides us,” he said in a video, ABC News reported.

Peña Nieto also said the 50 Mexican consulates in the U.S. “will convert into authentic advocates for the rights of migrants.”

Despite the Mexican president’s rhetoric, Mexican Foreign Affairs Secretary Luis Videgaray Caso said Wednesday that Peña Nieto still planned to meet with Trump. It would have been the first meeting between the two since they met in September during the presidential campaign.

But at the Republican retreat in Philadelphia, Trump said he and the Mexican president mutually agreed not to meet.

Trump’s response to Peña Nieto pointed to the “massive number of jobs and companies lost” to Mexico as justification for it paying for the wall’s construction.

Trump pledged since the first day of his campaign that he would build a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and that “I’ll make Mexico pay for that wall” but he started saying in October that the U.S. would build it and Mexico would reimburse the cost.

 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan indicated at a Republican retreat in Philadelphia on Thursday that there would be a supplemental budget plan roughly $12 to $15 billion allotted for the wall. 

 

— John T. Bennett, Niels Lesniewski and Bridget Bowman contributed to this report.