During a press conference Friday with British Prime Minister Theresa May, Trump said the call ― which took place around 9:30 a.m. ET, according to the Washington Post ― lasted about an hour and was “very, very friendly.”
A Friday statement from Peña Nieto’s office said the two had a “constructive and productive conversation” and have “agreed at this point not to speak publicly about” the wall.
The White House put out what it called a joint statement soon after with near-identical language ― except for the line about speaking publicly about the wall, which the Trump version omitted.
Peña Nieto has repeatedly said Mexico won’t pay for the wall. The statement from his office Friday acknowledged the two presidents disagree on funding for the project.
“With respect to the payment for the wall, both Presidents recognized their clear and very public differences of opinion on this very sensitive issue, and agreed to resolve these differences as part of a comprehensive discussion of all aspects of the bilateral relationship,” Peña Nieto’s office said.
In a tweet on Thursday, he said, “This morning we’ve informed the White House that I will not attend the work meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with @POTUS.”
Trump signed two executive orders on Wednesday that called for construction of a wall on the southwest border, a crackdown on so-called sanctuary cities and directives that would make effectively every undocumented immigrant a priority for deportation.
Trump claimed the executive orders would “save thousands of lives, millions of jobs and billions and billions of dollars.” But the proposed wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, which is about 1,900 miles, would likely cost billions.
This story has been updated with statements from Peña Nieto office.
Roque Planas and Elise Foley contributed reporting.