- The Washington Times - Friday, September 2, 2016

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto reiterated to a Spanish-language news show Thursday that his country will not pay for a wall on the border with the U.S., a campaign assertion repeatedly made by Donald Trump, and that Mr. Trump’s positions were a “threat” to the future of Mexico.

Mr. Pena Nieto told Televisa that he privately discussed the wall with Mr. Trump when the U.S. Republican presidential nominee visited Mexico on Wednesday. The Mexican president had invited both Mr. Trump and his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton, who declined but said she would visit at a later date.

“I was clear and emphatic that Mexico will not pay for the wall,” Mr. Pena Nieto, flanked by the Mexican flag, said in Spanish during the interview. “I was also clear that every government has the right to do on the border what it wants and what pleases its population. But Mexico, no matter what, will not pay for the wall. I was clear and emphatic on that.”

He also said he told Mr. Trump that his countrymen felt insulted by the businessman’s comments about Mexicans, including those Mexicans in the United States.

Mr. Pena Nieto was asked to respond to critics who wondered why he invited Mr. Trump to come to Mexico, so he said, “There is a reason why I did this. The reason is one, to confront the threats to our country. As the president of the country, I have a unique responsibility to take care of Mexicans and fight for Mexico.”

In this historic U.S. presidential election, “Mexico is part of the debate” and some of the positions taken in the campaign represent a “threat and risk” to Mexico, he said.

Televisa interviewer Denise Maerker asked point-blank: “Donald Trump is a threat? Donald Trump is a concrete threat to Mexico?”

“Some of the positions that he’s taken, yes, they represent a threat to the future of Mexico,” Mr. Pena Nieto replied.

The Mexican president spoke at length about the visit and said he hopes Mr. Trump’s tone will change on these positions.

For the full interview in Spanish, watch below:

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