From The Hill
The official Twitter account of the president of Mexico appeared to confirm the report, tweeting shortly after Trump that the meeting would be “in private.” And Pena tweeted from his own account that he had invited both presidential candidates to discuss the bilateral relationship.
The Washington Post first reported Tuesday night that Trump was considering the last-minute trip to Mexico City. Trump tweeted confirmation shortly before he took the stage for a rally in Washington state Tuesday night, but he did not mention the visit in his remarks.
Pena invited the mogul to visit him and discuss campaign issues, unidentified sources told the Post. The effort was reportedly facilitated by his campaign’s CEO Steve Bannon.
The Republican nominee has been publicly wrestling over whether to soften his immigration position and essentially reverse the hardline stance that he carried him through the primary.
Trump is scheduled to give a major immigration speech Wednesday night in Phoenix, during which he is expected to clarify his position. The trip to Mexico will be sandwiched between that speech and a fundraiser he’s slated to attend in California that morning.
While there was no immediate word on whether Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton will make a similar trip, her campaign released a statement late Tuesday night from Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri.
“From the first days of his campaign, Donald Trump has painted Mexicans as ‘rapists’ and criminals and has promised to deport 16 million people, including children and U.S. citizens,” she said.
“He has said we should force Mexico to pay for his giant border wall. He has said we should ban remittances to families in Mexico if Mexico doesn’t pay up. What ultimately matters is what Donald Trump says to voters in Arizona, not Mexico, and whether he remains committed to the splitting up of families and deportation of millions.”
For Peña, the meeting comes at a difficult political time.
A poll published on Aug. 11 by Reforma newspaper gave Peña a 23 percent approval rating, the lowest of his presidency. A similar poll published on Aug. 16 showed Trump is even less popular with Mexicans — only 4 percent have a favorable image of the Republican nominee.
In June, Peña compared Trump’s rhetoric to that of Mussolini and Hitler.
An unresolved conflict with an offshoot of the official teachers’ union has paralyzed parts of the country. Striking teachers have refused to start the school year, blocking access points to cities in the southern states of Oaxaca and Chiapas and organizing massive protests in Mexico City.
Rumors about potential Cabinet changes and early talk about 2018’s presidential election have ignited concern that Peña is already a lame duck with two years left in office.
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