Mastermind Behind Trump's Visit to Mexico Quits
Finance minister was blamed for deeply unpopular trip
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Sep 8, 2016 12:03 AM CDT
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Mexico's Finance Secretary Luis Videgaray looks down as President Enrique Pena Nieto announces Videgaray's resignation at Los Pinos presidential residence in Mexico City, Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016. One of Pena Nieto's closest advisers and confidants, Videgaray handed in his resignation, in a move observers...   (AP Photo/Dario Lopez-Mills)
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(Newser) – One of President Enrique Peña Nieto's closest advisers and confidants, Finance Secretary Luis Videgaray, has resigned in a move seen as linked to the unpopular decision to invite Donald Trump to visit Mexico, the AP reports. Peña Nieto has taken responsibility for inviting Trump, but a former government official familiar with the workings of the administration says Videgaray would have played a preponderant role in the decision. Newspaper columnists in Mexico have reported Videgaray was behind last week's visit, after which Peña Nieto was criticized for not being forceful enough in rejecting Trump's proposals and comments about Mexico.

Former finance secretary Jose Antonio Meade was named as Videgaray's successor. In comments to local media, Meade defended the president's meeting with Trump, saying it had lowered the risk of confrontations and helped moderate some of Trump's policy proposals. Peña Nieto has said the meeting was needed to build bridges in case Trump is elected. "In the face of candidate Trump's postures and positions, which clearly represent a threat to the future of Mexico, it was necessary to talk," Peña Nieto said Wednesday. "It was necessary to make him feel and know why Mexico does not accept his positions." He repeated that he told Trump in person that Mexico would in no way pay for the proposed border wall.