Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto reportedly scrapped his plans to visit the White House after a tense conversation about the proposed border wall.
The Washington Post reported that U.S. and Mexican officials said the two presidents hit a stalemate after Peña Nieto asked Trump to publicly acknowledge Mexico would not pay for the wall, but Trump refused to agree.
Trump lost his temper during the 50-minute call, a Mexican official told the paper, because he was frustrated over Peña Nieto’s “unreasonable expectations.”
Mexico has elections coming up in July and Peña Nieto canceled a previously planned meeting in January 2017 after Trump tweeted, “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.”
The Mexican president retaliated at the time via a video posted on Twitter, saying, “Mexico does not believe in walls. I’ve said time again: Mexico will not pay for any wall.”
A former Mexican ambassador to the United States, Arturo Sarukhan, told the Washington Post that Trump had “painted” the relationship between the U.S. and Mexico “into a corner.”
“Even from the get-go, the idea of Mexico paying for the wall was never going to fly,” Sarukhan said. “It’s not even business; it’s personal, driven by motivations and triggers, and that’s a huge problem. It could end up with the U.S. asking itself, ‘Who lost Mexico?’ ”