Donald Trump kicked off his presidential bid more than a year ago with harsh words for Mexico. “They are not our friend, believe me,” he said, before disparaging Mexican immigrants: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
In the months since, he has repeatedly promised to build a wall along the Mexican border and get Mexico to pay for it. He is now scheduled to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto on Wednesday, hours before a speech that will aim to clarify his position on immigration, which appeared to soften in remarks he made last week.
Here’s what Trump has said about Mexico and Mexicans, before and during his presidential campaign:
June 16, 2015
“When do we beat Mexico at the border? They’re laughing at us, at our stupidity,” Trump said as he announced his candidacy on June 16, 2015. “And now they are beating us economically. They are not our friend, believe me. But they’re killing us economically. The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems.”
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said in the same speech. “They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Feb. 25, 2016
Trump feuded with former Mexican President Vicente Fox, who compared the Republican presidential candidate to Hitler and said, “I’m not going to pay for that f–king wall.”
Fox later apologized, which Trump said was “very, very nice.”
“Vicente Fox was on television last night and he apologized, and I accept his apology. I tell you I thought it was very nice,” Trump said at a rally in West Virginia on May 5. “Honestly, I thought it was very, very nice, because I was giving him a little hard time about something, and he apologized.”
March 1, 2016
“You look at countries like Mexico, where they’re killing us on the border, absolutely destroying us on the border. They’re destroying us in terms of economic development,” Trump said on March 1 during his Super Tuesday victory speech.
“Mexico is going to pay for the wall,” Trump added during a press conference. “We have a trade deficit with Mexico of $58 billion a year — $58 billion. The wall is going to cost $10 billion. It’s so easy. I’ve had these guys that I’m on the stage with go you don’t really mean Mexico is going to pay for the wall. One — as sure as you’re standing there, 100 percent, Mexico’s going to pay, 100 percent.”
May 27, 2016
“I think the Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump,” he said at a rally in San Diego on May 27.
June 3, 2016
“I’ve been treated very unfairly by this judge. Now, this judge is of Mexican heritage. I’m building a wall, OK? I’m building a wall. I am going to do very well with the Hispanics, the Mexicans,” Trump said in an interview with CNN on June 3, explaining his attacks on the judge presiding over the Trump University lawsuit.
“I think I’m going to do very well with Hispanics. But we’re building a wall. He’s a Mexican. We’re building a wall between here and Mexico,” Trump said later in the interview, speaking of U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who was born in Indiana to Mexican immigrant parents. “This judge is giving us unfair rulings. Now I say why. Well, I want to — I’m building a wall, OK? And it’s a wall between Mexico, not another country.”
Aug. 9, 2016
“Businesses are leaving our country like they’ve never left before. They’re going all over. They’re going to Mexico, that I can tell you. Mexico is like the eighth wonder of the world,” Trump said on Aug. 9.
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