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Trump Didn't Ask Mexico to Pay for the Wall While Meeting with Mexico's President

Donald Trump and Enrique Peña Nieto's much-publicized meeting didn't touch on the one topic everyone was wondering about.

by VICE Staff
Aug 31 2016, 8:43pm

Thumbnail image via Flickr user Gage Skidmore

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Donald Trump told reporters in Mexico City on Wednesday afternoon that he and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto had a "great, substantive, constructive exchange of ideas" during their private chat earlier in the day, but they "didn't discuss" which country would pay for Trump's proposed wall along the Mexican border, CNN reports.

The wall has been a cornerstone of Trump's campaign, and he's long held that he'd not only build the multibillion dollar barrier but get Mexico to foot the bill, possibly by blocking payments sent home by Mexican nationals living in the US. But apparently the expert negotiator decided the time wasn't right to ask about that, though the two politicians did talk about walls in general.

"Having a secure border is a sovereign right, and mutually beneficial," Trump said in a fairly sleepy (by his standards) joint press conference with Nieto. "We recognize and respect the right of either country to build a physical barrier or wall on any of its borders to stop the illegal movement of people, drugs, and weapons."

Trump's visit with Nieto in the Mexican capital was a last-minute plan, announced on Twitter on Tuesday. Nieto is unpopular in his own country, and Trump is downright hated there, so naturally many Mexicans denounced the meeting. And Hillary Clinton, who was also invited by Nieto to meet separately, took the opportunity to dis Trump's past inflammatory rhetoric.

"It certainly takes more than trying to make up for a year of insults and insinuations by dropping in on our neighbors for a few hours and then flying home again," Clinton said during a speech in Cincinnati.

Read: What Would Happen if America Actually Adopted Donald Trump's Insane Immigration Plan?