Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's administration said there's no truth to U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump's assertion that the nation would pay for a wall along the border between the countries.
"Of course it's false," Eduardo Sanchez, Pena Nieto spokesman, said in a telephone interview with Bloomberg. "It reflects an enormous ignorance for what Mexico represents, and also the irresponsibility of the candidate who's saying it."
Sanchez said the government hasn't taken Trump's statements on the campaign trail as serious proposals. The majority of Mexicans in the U.S. follow the nation's laws, and immigrants make up an important part of the American workforce, Sanchez said. Trump has said Mexico is sending rapists and criminals to the U.S.
On Tuesday, Trump again reiterated his assertion that Mexico would foot the bill for a wall sealing off its northern border with the United States.
“We’re not paying for it,” the billionaire said in an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity. “You know how easy that is? They’ll probably just give us the money.”
Throughout the course of his presidential campaign, Trump has assured voters that his plan for a wall would be subsidized by the Mexican government.
“I watch politicians come on: ‘can you imagine, Sean, he’s saying Mexico's going to pay? They’ll never pay.’ And I’m saying, that’s like a hundred percent,” Trump told Hannity. “That’s not like 98 percent. Sean, it’s a hundred percent they’re [going to] pay. And if they don’t pay, we’ll charge ‘em a little tariff. It’ll be paid. But we need the wall.”
Sanchez disputed that his government would fund such a project as well as the need for it.
"Mexicans in the U.S. work with passion, they do their jobs well," Sanchez said. "His comments reflect an enormous lack of knowledge of the reality in the U.S."
Correction: This article was updated to correct the spelling of Eduardo Sanchez's name in the second-to-last paragraph.