WATCH: Donald Trump speaks with reporters after meeting Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has concluded a trip to Mexico, where he met President Enrique Peña Nieto, discussing immigration and of course, Trump’s border wall.
The trip raised eyebrows, coming just weeks before the presidential election. It comes on the heels of a string of comments that have made the candidate deeply unpopular with Latinos, including the description of Mexicans as criminals and rapists, and an attack on a US judge’s impartiality because of his “Mexican heritage.”
Trump took a softer line today, looking to mend fences and ending the briefing calling Peña Nieto a “friend.”
“The bond between our two countries is deep and sincere, and both of our nations benefit from a close and honest relationship.”
In a post-meeting media availability, Trump told reporters he and Peña Nieto had agreed to five shared principles.
Among them, control over sovereign borders, which would include Trump’s controversial wall.
“We recognize and respect the right of either country to build a physical barrier or wall on any of its borders to stop the illegal movement of drugs, people, or weapons.”
However, when pressed by reporters about who would pay for it Trump demurred.
“We didn’t discuss that. Who pays for the wall we didn’t discuss.”
Trump says the pair also agreed to the goal of ending illegal immigration, both into the US, but into Mexico as well from other Central American countries.
He says they also found common ground on breaking up drug cartels, retooling NAFTA, and working to keep jobs from moving overseas.
WATCH: Trump says he didn’t discuss who will pay for the wall
Trump’s messaging on immigration has become blurred in recent weeks, leaving many wondering exactly what it is.
He took a hard line during the primary season, calling for a “deportation force” that would exile the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US.
However, surrogates have backpedaled from that position in recent interviews.
Trump himself offered varying conflicting messages to major US media outlets last week, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity that there could be a “softening” of his position and that he could “work with” migrants rather than deport them. Days later he told CNN he would allow undocumented immigrants “no path” to legalization.
A major speech on immigration policy, delayed from last week, is expected today.