Mexican president uses upcoming meeting as bargaining chip, says won’t pay for wall. So, Trump calls his bluff

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto answered the order Wednesday by President Donald Trump to move forward with building a wall on the southern border, insisting his country “will not pay for any wall.”

“I regret and reject the decision of the U.S. to build the wall,” Pena Nieto said in a national address, according to CNBC. “Mexico does not believe in walls. I’ve said time again; Mexico will not pay for any wall.”

Then again, Nieto does not have thousands of Americans pouring into his country… and if he did, Mexico’s notoriously strict immigration laws would preclude any need for a physical barrier.

Nieto promised to protect Mexicans in the United States.

“Where there is a Mexican migrant at risk that requires our support, your country should be there,” he said. “The Mexican government will provide them with the legal advice, which guarantees the protection they require.”

But the Mexican president struck a somewhat conciliatory tone, saying his country “offers and deserves respect as the fully sovereign nation we are.”

“Mexico re-affirms its friendship with the people of the United States, and its willingness to reach agreements with its government,” Nieto added.

For now, his scheduled January 31 trip to Washington to meet with Trump is still on, though Nieto, under pressure from his constituents, said he will wait to hear from top officials in Washington before deciding on cancelling an upcoming visit with the Trump administration.

Based on the reaction on social media, one thing is certain… there are plenty of folks who remain convinced that Mexico will indeed pay for the wall, including President Trump who fired back Thursday morning, seemingly calling Nieto’s bluff.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/824615820391305216

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/824616644370714627

***Update: Mexican President Nieto posted a statement on Twitter later Thursday saying he has cancelled the scheduled meeting with President Trump.

“This morning we informed the White House that I will not attended the work meeting planned for next Tuesday with @POTUS,” he tweeted, according to English translation.

Here’s a sampling of responses from Twitter:

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Tom Tillison

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