Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto reiterated Wednesday that Mexico would not pay for a border wall between it and the U.S., despite President-elect Donald Trump’s claims to the contrary earlier in the day.
“It is evident that we have some differences with the new government of the United States, like the topic of the wall, that Mexico of course will not pay,” Nieto said during a speech in front of foreign diplomats at the National Palace on Wednesday, according to reports.
Peña Nieto had similarly refuted the notion following a September meeting with then-candidate Trump in Mexico.
“At the start of the conversation with Donald Trump, I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall,” Peña Nieto tweeted after the two politicians met.
The Mexican president’s latest comments once again stood in direct contrast to those of Trump, who Wednesday continued to insist that his campaign pledge to make our neighboring nation pay for a border would come to fruition.
“In order to get the wall started, Mexico will pay for the wall. But it will be reimbursed. OK?” Trump told reporters Wednesday during his first press conference in over five months. “It will happen. Remember this, OK?”
Trump also slammed reports that he was planning to make American taxpayers pay for the wall and subsequently have Mexico repay the U.S. for the costs, saying the distinction was moot.
“Reports went out last week, ‘Oh, Mexico is not going to pay for the wall because of a reimbursement.’ What’s the difference? I want to get the wall started,” the president-elect said.
Trump also alluded to a potential timeline for the process.
“We’re going to build a wall,” he said. “I could wait about a year-and-a-half until we finish our negotiations with Mexico, which we’ll start immediately after we get to office, but I don’t want to wait.”