- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto said Wednesday evening that he kicked off his meeting with GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump by saying Mexico won’t pay for the border wall — directly contradicting Mr. Trump’s claim hours earlier.

Mr. Pena Nieto didn’t dispute Mr. Trump when he made the comment at a joint press conference, but took to Twitter later to say he stood firm against the potential future U.S. president.

“I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall,” he tweeted, according to a translation.

Mr. Trump has said they two men talked about the wall but, asked several times, said the subject of payment didn’t come up.

“We didn’t discuss payment of the wall. That’ll be for a later date. This was a very preliminary meeting,” he said.

The disagreement marred what was an otherwise strikingly cordial public appearance for the two men, who had previously sniped over Mr. Trump’s stern comments about Mexico and Mexicans who come to the U.S.

Mr. Trump appeared to win concessions from the Mexican leader on trade, with Mr. Pena Nieto saying he was not opposed to looking at whether the North American Free Trade Agreement needed updating.

And both men said they accepted that they will disagree on issues, but can still build a constructive relationship should Mr. Trump win the White House.

The Clinton campaign, though, said Mr. Pena Nieto’s refusal to agree to pay for the wall undercut Mr. Trump’s entire meeting.

“It turns out Trump didn’t just choke, he got beat in the room and lied about it,” said John Podesta, the Clinton campaign chairman.

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