President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico released an op-ed insisting that he was "clear" with Donald Trump in saying his country would not pay to build a wall on the border.
"I was very clear — in public and in private — in emphasizing that we in Mexico feel offended and hurt by his comments about Mexicans," Peña Nieto wrote in El Universal, one of the most popular papers in Mexico, from Talking Points Memo.
"In my conversation with Trump about the border, I was also very clear: Mexico will not pay for any wall," he continued.
Despite Peña Nieto's refusal, Trump continues to defend his policy.
"Mexico will pay for the wall, 100 percent. They don't know it yet, but they're going to pay for it," Trump said to a crowd in Phoenix on Wednesday.
During an appearance on Televisa Wednesday night, Peña Nieto said he was "emphatic" that Mexico would not fund the wall, and that some of Trump's political positions "themselves are a threat to Mexico," Politico reported.
Peña Nieto has caught flack from Mexicans who believe that his inviting Trump to their country legitimized the candidate.
"Peña gambled and lost," Macario Schettino, politics professor at Mexico's Tec de Monterrey University, told The Wall Street Journal. "And the trouble is, this was always a long-shot bet. We all knew ahead of time what Trump is like, and how this would turn out."
"People here don't like it when their leaders play the role of the doormat, and on the street some could view this as treason," he concluded.
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