Mexicans Contemptuous of Trump and Their President After Embarrassing Meeting

Posted Sept. 7, 2016

MP3 Interview with Laura Carlsen, director of the Center for International Policy's America’s Program, conducted by Scott Harris


Millions of Mexicans were surprised and angry when their president, Enrique Peña Nieto met with GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump. The meeting, which took place on Aug. 31 after Peña Nieto extended an invitation to both Trump and Hillary Clinton, came amid attempts by Trump’s campaign to clarify his often contradictory positions on illegal immigration. The immigration issue has been a centerpiece of the billionaire real estate mogul’s campaign, which he launched by calling for the mass deportation of 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. and condemning Mexicans as rapists and drug dealers. Trump also promised to build a border wall that he said he’d force the Mexican government to pay for.

In a joint Mexico City news conference following a private meeting between the two men, Peña Nieto did little to challenge Trump's insults against his nation and Trump himself struck a moderate tone. However, later that day in a speech delivered in Phoenix, Trump aggressively repeated his hardline position on immigration, vowing to carry out mass deportations.

When asked by reporters, Trump denied that he and the Mexican president had discussed his pledge to have Mexico pay for the construction of his proposed border wall. But Peña Nieto later tweeted that during their meeting, he had made it clear to Trump that Mexico will never pay for the wall. Between The Lines’ Scott Harris spoke with Laura Carlsen, director of the Center for International Policy’s America’s Program based in Mexico City. Here, Carlsen discusses the political circumstances surrounding Trump’s visit to Mexico, and why the invitation was extended to a politician who has so often insulted the Mexican people.

Find more about Center for International Policy, Americas Program, visit;;

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