News timeline



Meeting Donald Trump was a mistake, Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto admits

  • Enrique Peña Nieto said that he 'took a very rushed decision' to host Trump
  • Poll showed 85 per cent of Mexicans thought the invitation was a mistake
  • The president's closest cabinet ally resigned in the wake of the visit

By Hannah Al-othman For Mailonline

Published: 02:41 EST, 25 October 2016 | Updated: 06:18 EST, 25 October 2016

  • e-mail

75

View
comments

The Mexican President has said his meeting with Donald Trump was a mistake, following an angry backlash from his citizens

Enrique Peña Nieto said the visit to Mexico City in August had been arranged in haste, adding that given the option he would reverse his decision to host the GOP presidential nominee.

The two leaders held a private meeting in the Mexican capital, before they answered questions from journalists in a joint press conference. 

Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto said he regrets his decision to hold a press conference in the country with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto said he regrets his decision to hold a press conference in the country with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto said he regrets his decision to hold a press conference in the country with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump

Speaking to La Razón newspaper on Monday, President Peña Nieto said: 'It was very controversial and I accept that I took a decision. 

'Maybe today it would be different, I think I took a very rushed decision.' 

While in a separate television interview he said: 'Could we have done things better? Maybe yes, admittedly. 

'I think that this genuine interest to bring about a meeting to take care of Mexico's interests, I think, could have been done in a better way.'

Trump's August visit came after he derided Mexicans in a campaign speech, saying: 'they are bringing drugs, and bringing crime, and they're rapists'.

His flagship policy has been the building of a border wall between the countries that he insists Mexico will pay for. Mexico denies that they will pay for it.

Trump's trip to their country angered many Mexicans, who criticized President Peña Nieto for hosting the meeting.

The president was already unpopular, and has faced a backlash from his citizens over the decision to host the controversial meeting The president was already unpopular, and has faced a backlash from his citizens over the decision to host the controversial meeting

The president was already unpopular, and has faced a backlash from his citizens over the decision to host the controversial meeting

The president was already unpopular, and his closest cabinet ally, Secretary of Finance Luis Videgaray, resigned in the wake of the visit.

Polls released shortly before the visit showed Trump's approval rating in Mexico at 4 per cent, and Peña Nieto's at 23 per cent. 

The Mexican premier faced criticism after the conference for failing to mention Trump's controversial border wall policy. 

The Mexican government said after Trump's visit that his rival Hillary Clinton had also also been invited to Mexico, but she had declined the offer.

Defending himself against criticism following the meeting, President Peña Nieto said he had wanted to build relationships with both major party candidates in order to continue the close working relationship between the Mexican and US governments.

'Many times I have given the explanation of why I sought an encounter with both candidates, and it was only to care for Mexicans and the interests of Mexico,' he said.

A poll shortly after the visit showed 85 per cent of Mexicans thought the invitation was a mistake.

Read more:

Most watched News videos

MOST READ NEWS


Article Tags

    No tags for this article

About the author

What's next