Trump announces trip to Mexico for talks with President Pea Nieto

Trump announces trip to Mexico for talks with President Pea Nieto

Republican presidential candidate who wants to build a border wall will meet Enrique Pea Nieto on Wednesday ahead of major immigration speech

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has confirmed that he will travel to Mexico on Wednesday to meet President Enrique Pea Nieto in Mexico City.

Moments before taking the stage for a rally in Everett, Washington, just north of Seattle, Trump tweeted that he had accepted the invitation of President Enrique Pea Nieto, of Mexico, and look[ed] very much forward to meeting him tomorrow.

Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 31, 2016

I have accepted the invitation of President Enrique Pena Nieto, of Mexico, and look very much forward to meeting him tomorrow.

The meeting will happen hours before Trump is scheduled to deliver a major address on immigration in Phoenix, Arizona, in which he will aim to clarify his increasingly murky stance on the issue.

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It was confirmed by the official Twitter account for the Mexican presidency, which said:

Presidencia Mxico (@PresidenciaMX) August 31, 2016

El Seor @realDonaldTrump ha aceptado esta invitacin y se reunir maana en privado con el Presidente @EPN.

Translated, the tweet says that Trump has accepted the invitation and will meet privately tomorrow with the president.

Pea Nieto who has previously compared Trump to Hitler and Mussolini said via Twitter that he had invited both presidential candidates to Mexico to discuss bilateral relations, adding: I believe in dialogue to promote the interests of Mexico in the world and to protect Mexicans wherever they are.

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Mexican president Enrique Pea Nieto said he had invited Trump, despite having previously compared him to Hitler. Photograph: Susan Walsh/AP

The Trump campaign did not respond to repeated requests for comment. However, Josh Green, a reporter for Bloomberg News, said Trump would be accompanied on the trip by former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani and Alabama senator Jeff Sessions.

Trump, who launched his campaign in 2015 with the announcement that Mexico was bringing their worst people, including rapists, to the US, had been scheduled to appear at fundraisers in California on Wednesday morning, before delivering his immigration address in Phoenix at 6pm local time (9pm ET).

The trip to Mexico City to meet Pea Nieto who has previously invited Trump to debate him in Mexico will likely occur sometime in the middle of the day.

The proposal was first broached with the US embassy in Mexico City earlier this week, a fast-tracking of an international visit by an American presidential candidate that is typically planned over the course of weeks.

In recent days, Trump has been increasingly vague on his position about the legal status of the 11 million illegal immigrants currently in the US. During the Republican primary, Trump appealed to the conservative base by calling for a deportation force to remove all undocumented immigrants from the country.

However, on a recent trip to Iowa, Trump said the policy issue was driven by the media. In recent days, the media as it usually does has missed the whole point on immigration. All the media wants to talk about is the 11 million or more people here illegally, he said at a fundraiser for Republican senator Joni Ernst.

In front of a crowd in Everett on Tuesday evening, Trump made no mention of his upcoming diplomatic mission, focusing instead on campaign speech favorites, including a rambling story in rhyming couplets about an ungrateful and poisonous snake, intended as an allegory about Muslim refugees to the US.

Also notably absent from the speech was perhaps Trumps most essential motif: the wall he proposes to build along the US-Mexico border.

Trumps approval ratings among Latino voters are historically bad, and his relationship with Pea Nietos government is even worse. Trump has long pledged to force Mexico to pay for the proposed 2,000-mile (3,220km) border wall, a suggestion the Mexican president responded to coldly.

No way, Pea Nieto told CNN earlier this year.

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