Donald Trump’s most contentious campaign promise was a wall on America’s border with Mexico. Not only would the wall get built, he promised, but Mexico would pay for it. At the G20 summit in Germany, Donald Trump met with the President of Mexico to offer new details on his border wall plans.
A reporter asked Trump, “Do you still want Mexico to pay for the wall?” He apparently said, “absolutely.” He then called Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto a “friend,” even though a few months back, he cancelled one of Trump’s first foreign visits as President.
Meanwhile, when asked about the border wall, Nieto only said that he hoped the two would have a “flowing dialogue.”
The White House tried to downplay the focus on the border wall from the meeting. Their official statement emphasized that other issues, like “the importance of renegotiating NAFTA,” drug trafficking, and immigration policies were also discussed.
The border wall has seen much controversy in the months since Trump has assumed the White House. Some have proposed designs that are more like a fence, while others have included innovative solar technology. Regardless, Trump has at other times backed off his insistence that Mexico would pay, instead saying that they would pay America back at a later date via renegotiated trade deals.
Donald Trump’s foreign policy team for this trip and this meeting in particular included Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, national security adviser H.R. McMaster, Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin,NEC Director Gary Cohn, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, and most surprisingly, son-in-law and advisor Jared Kushner.
Donald Trump also met with Vladimir Putin, among other world leaders, at the G20 summit. While the border wall is of most significance with respect to Trump’s controversial campaign promises, this meeting with Putin was higher profile and more intense.
The two reportedly discussed election interference, Syria, the Ukraine, and other topics throughout a meeting that lasted more than four times what was expected.