Reports: In Private, Trump Renewed Claim That Mexico Will Pay For Border Wall

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) told fellow Democrats after meeting with President Donald Trump Tuesday that the President renewed his campaign-era claim that Mexico will pay for his proposed border wall, CNN reported.

The Washington Post’s Josh Dawsey had earlier tweeted a corroboration of the story. Politico mentioned it in a report as well. A Mexican official told CNN: “Mexico’s position regarding the so-called wall is the same the previous government had. Mexico WILL NOT pay for it, no matter how you spin it.”

The televised portion of Trump’s meeting with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) made headlines for his ownership of a potential government shutdown over congressional wall funding.

But after journalists left the room, Pelosi told fellow Democrats later on Tuesday, Trump brought up his old — and extremely unlikely — campaign pledge.

Per an unnamed aide, CNN reported, Pelosi told Democratic members of Congress:

“(Trump) said, ‘Mexico is going to pay for the wall.’ I said, ‘They’re not paying for the wall.’ He said, ‘They’re paying for the wall with the money we’re gonna make over the newly revised USMCA [the United States, Mexico and Canada Agreement].'”

Per the aide, according to CNN, Pelosi then recalled telling Trump:

“You’re going to take the money we made from the trade agreement. Well, that’s an opportunity cost, Mr. President, for American workers and our economy that’s supposed to benefit from that. They did not know you are passing a bill so that you could pay for a wall and say Mexico paid for it with our profits from our workers and our businesses and the rest.”

Trump reportedly responded:

“Well, they’re gonna pay for it one way or another.”

To which Pelosi reportedly said:

“‘That isn’t the fact. I’m gonna go out and tell people that you think that Mexico is paying for it with money that should be going into our economy.’ That’s terrible.”

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