Donald Trump's outwardly friendly visit with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto hit a wall on Wednesday evening as the two sides issued contradictory accounts of the meeting.
The dispute centered on Trump's campaign pledge to force Mexico to pay for a barrier along their shared border. After his private sit-down with Peña Nieto, Trump told reporters at a joint press conference that they had set the issue aside in favor of a conversation on trade, immigration, and security
"We did discuss the wall; we didn't discuss payment of the wall," Trump told reporters at a brief press conference alongside Peña Nieto after their meeting. "That will be for a later date."
Peña Nieto declined to address Trump's statement from the podium, but his office rushed to counter Trump's version of events after the press conference ended, creating confusion about the content of their discussions.
"At the start of my conversation with Donald Trump I made it clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall," Peña Nieto tweeted in Spanish from his official account afterwards. "After that, the conversation moved on to other topics and unfolded in a respectful manner."
Trump's spokesman Jason Miller issued a follow-up statement saying the joint meeting "was not a negotiation" over the wall and that such talk would have been "inappropriate," but he added no further details corroborating or denying the Mexican president's revised account.
"It is unsurprising that they hold two different views on this issue, and we look forward to continuing the conversation," Miller said.
Hillary Clinton's campaign initially mocked Trump for not bringing up his wall, but soon followed up with a new statement that accused Trump of falsely representing his meeting.
"It turns out Trump didn't just choke, he got beat in the room and lied about it," Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said in a statement.