"Build a wall." By now, we’re used to Trump saying it, chanting it, tweeting it. And something he's been very clear about is that Mexico will pay, one way or another, for its construction.
Mexico will pay for the wall!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 1, 2016
The president said last week that his view on the wall "has never changed or evolved" — that it would still be paid for "directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico" — in response to White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s remarks to FOX News that Trump's views on the matter had indeed evolved.
The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it. Parts will be, of necessity, see through and it was never intended to be built in areas where there is natural protection such as mountains, wastelands or tough rivers or water.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2018
....The Wall will be paid for, directly or indirectly, or through longer term reimbursement, by Mexico, which has a ridiculous $71 billion dollar trade surplus with the U.S. The $20 billion dollar Wall is “peanuts” compared to what Mexico makes from the U.S. NAFTA is a bad joke!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2018
Mexico's former president, Vicente Fox (2000-2006), stated in an interview on Jordan Klepper’s "The Opposition" Tuesday night, "I said I’m not paying for that f*cking wall."
"Let me tell you about Mexico and Mexicans," Fox said. "They are the most respectful, hardworking, decent people who have contributed to the greatness of this nation."
Fox later told Klepper that Trump is a "mediocre businessman" and stated, "When you move from business and private sector into politics, you have to go through a process. This guy doesn’t have any idea of the difference between running a nation and running a business."
His refusal to pay for a "f*cking wall" was a reiteration of what the former president said in February 2016 (and many other times since) — that, as a taxpayer, he wouldn’t fund Trump’s "big and beautiful" idea. His exact words were, "I declare I’m not paying for that f*cking wall. He should pay it. He’s got the money."
Trump responded on Twitter, "FMR PRES of Mexico, Vicente Fox horribly used the F word when discussing the wall. He must apologize! If I did that there would be a uproar!"
FMR PRES of Mexico, Vicente Fox horribly used the F word when discussing the wall. He must apologize! If I did that there would be a uproar!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 25, 2016
Felipe Calderón, who served as Mexico's president after Fox from 2006 to 2012, also said back in 2016 that he wouldn’t pay.
"Mexican people, we are not going to pay any single cent for such a stupid wall!" Calderón exclaimed on CNBC. "And it's going to be completely useless."
"The first loser of such a policy would be the United States," he said. "If this guy pretends that closing the borders to anywhere either for trade [or] for people is going to provide prosperity to the United States, he is completely crazy."
Back in October, the Mexican government stated that "our country will not pay, under any circumstances, for a wall or physical barrier built on US territory along the Mexican border."
It continued, "This statement is not part of a Mexican negotiating strategy, but rather a principle of national sovereignty and dignity."