Donald Trump, Mexican president discuss border wall at meeting in Mexico City

Courtesy of  CBSN

Courtesy of CBSN

MEXICO — In a joint appearance with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto Wednesday afternoon during his last-minute trip to Mexico City, Donald Trump said the pair’s discussion was “substantive, direct and constructive” and that they discussed Trump’s signature proposal of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border—but did not discuss who would pay for the wall.

“We discussed the wall,” Trump told reporters after meeting privately with Pena Nieto. “We didn’t discuss payment of the wall.”

Trump, the Republican nominee, has made illegal immigration a centerpiece of his presidential campaign, frequently invoking his claim that Mexico will pay for a wall along the border between the two countries.

Still, Trump’s tone in the appearance was far more muted than his campaign-trail persona: the candidate delivered a relatively short statement, stressing the importance of collaboration with Mexico on key issues like immigration and trade.

“The United States and Mexico share a 2000-mile border, half a trillion dollars in annual trade and one million legal border crossings each and every day,” Trump said. “We are united by our support for democracy, a great love for our people and the contributions of millions of Mexican-Americans to the United States.”

Pena Nieto, for his part, praised his discussion with Trump as “open and constructive,” noting the long history of cooperation between the U.S. and Mexico.

Pena Nieto had invited both Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton to meet with him in Mexico City; Trump’s campaign announced Tuesday night that he would be taking Pena Nieto up on his offer — on the same day he would deliver a major speech on immigration in Phoenix.