President Donald Trump has been "very clear and consistent" Mexico will pay for a wall at its border with the United States, no matter when the payments come, presidential counselor Kellyanne Conway insisted Thursday.
"President Trump has been clear on this point: He will build the wall, and Mexico will pay for it," Conway told NBC's "Today."
"Whether they pay for it straight-out, or it's reimbursed after congressional funding, let's talk about what the wall means: It's a construction of a physical wall on our southern border. In addition to it, we're allowing more tools and resources for our law enforcement officers, and our border agents."
Trump signed two executive orders Wednesday aimed at stemming illegal immigration, with one that redirects Homeland Security money to build the wall. However, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto stressed Mexico will not foot the bill, as "Mexico does not believe in walls."
"I have said it over and over again: Mexico will not pay for any wall," the Mexican president said.
He was scheduled to meet Tuesday with Trump to discuss immigration and trade, but Trump tweeted a threat to cancel the meeting Thursday if Mexico continues to refuse to pay for the wall, and, ultimately, the Mexican president canceled the meeting himself.
Both House Speaker Paul Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy have said federal upfront money to build the wall will become available, with Ryan saying cost estimates of $8 billion and $14 billion sound "about right."
Conway insisted Trump has outlined his goal for making Mexico pay for the wall many times, and a meeting will include a "productive but far-reaching conversation."
"We know that Americans are tired of people and drugs spilling over the borders into our communities," Conway said.
"That's what this is about. It's about being a sovereign nation. The United States of America spends billions protecting other countries' borders. It's time we spend money to protect our own."
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