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Mexican Leaders: We Won't 'Reimburse' US for 'Stupid' Wall

Despite what Donald Trump is claiming
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 7, 2017 10:15 AM CST

(Newser) – Who's going to pay for Donald Trump's border wall, which is either "great" or "stupid," depending on who you ask? The answer is getting a little more complicated. The New York Times reports Republican lawmakers are looking into funding the border wall with taxpayer money. That led to the following Trump tweet: "The dishonest media does not report that any money spent on building the Great Wall (for sake of speed), will be paid back by Mexico later!" He reiterated that point to the Times: "We're going to get reimbursed. But I don't want to wait that long. But you start, and then you get reimbursed." He says reimbursement from Mexico will probably be part of a NAFTA renegotiation.

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Mexican leaders, like they did when Trump originally claimed the country would pay for the wall, say not so fast, the Washington Post reports. "I believe I speak for most Mexicans that I would just as soon break with USA, and assume the consequences, than pay for Trump's stupid wall," one former diplomat tweets. Former president Vicente Fox Quesada adds: "Trump, when will you understand that I am not paying for that [expletive] wall. Be clear with US tax payers. They will pay for it." It's also unclear how excited Republicans as a whole will be to—should Mexican reimbursement not materialize—spend a whole bunch of taxpayer money. According to Reuters, US Customs and Border Protection estimates a border fence—far from Trump's "great wall"—would cost more than $11.3 billion. (Read more border wall stories.)

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