Who pays for wall? Trump, Mexico to ‘work these differences out’

Donald Trump at a rally in Boca Raton in March. (Daniel Owen / The Palm Beach Post)

Donald Trump at a rally in Boca Raton in March. (Daniel Owen / The Palm Beach Post)

At Donald Trump‘s 2016 campaign rallies, the answer was simple.

 

Crowds would chant “Build the wall!”

 

Then part-time Palm Beach resident Trump, theatrically putting a hand to his ear, would ask “Who’s going to pay for the wall?”

 

“Mexico!” the crowd would respond.

 

Late in the campaign, however, Trump began suggesting the U.S. might pay for his signature proposal to wall off the U.S. border with Mexico, then have Mexico reimburse the costs later.

 

“They’ll either pay directly or indirectly. That’s the same thing,” Trump said in an exclusive interview with The Palm Beach Post in October.

 

Now that Trump is president, House Speaker Paul Ryan this week says he’s expecting the White House to ask taxpayers to spend $15 million on the wall with hopes of recovering the money later.

 

Trump today spent an hour talking on the phone with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, who on Thursday canceled plans to meet with Trump next week.

 

“With respect to payment for the border wall, both presidents recognize their clear and very public differences of positions on this issue but have agreed to work these differences out as part of a comprehensive discussion on all aspects of the bilateral relationship,” a White House statement says.

 

Here’s the full statement:

 

Joint Statement on U.S.-Mexico Relations

 

The United States President Donald J. Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto spoke by phone this morning for an hour.  The call was mutually arranged by their teams.  

 

The two had a productive and constructive call regarding the bilateral relationship between the two countries, the current trade deficit the United States has with Mexico, the importance of the friendship between the two nations, and the need for the two nations to work together to stop drug cartels, drug trafficking and illegal guns and arms sales.

 

With respect to payment for the border wall, both presidents recognize their clear and very public differences of positions on this issue but have agreed to work these differences out as part of a comprehensive discussion on all aspects of the bilateral relationship. 

 

Both presidents have instructed their teams to continue the dialogue to strengthen this important strategic and economic relationship in a constructive way.

 

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