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Trump Threatens to Cancel Mexico Meeting Over Border Wall Funding

  • VOA News

US President Donald Trump speaks to staff at the Department of Homeland Security in Washington, DC, on Jan. 25, 2017.

President Donald Trump on Thursday said he would cancel a planned upcoming meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto if he continues to refuse to pay for a border wall.



Trump’s comments came after Nieto reiterated on Wednesday that Mexico would not “pay for any wall.” Nieto said he saw no reason to cancel the January 31 meeting with Trump, and he expressed his desire to have a mutually beneficial relationship with the new Trump administration.

"Mexico offers its friendship to the people of the United States and expresses its wish to arrive at agreements with its government, deals that will be in favor of Mexico and the Mexicans," he said.

FILE - In this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Army, Pfc. Chelsea Manning poses for a photo wearing a wig and lipstick. Attorneys for the transgender soldier imprisoned in Kansas for sending classified information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.
FILE - In this undated file photo provided by the U.S. Army, Pfc. Chelsea Manning poses for a photo wearing a wig and lipstick. Attorneys for the transgender soldier imprisoned in Kansas for sending classified information to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.


Targeting Manning

Earlier Thursday, Trump called federal whistleblower Chelsea Manning an “ungrateful traitor,” and slammed former President Barack Obama for releasing her from jail.

Trump’s post seemed to be in reference to an op-ed written by Manning and published in British newspaper The Guardian, in which Manning says Obama compromised too much with his political foes and leaves behind “very few permanent accomplishments.”

“This vulnerable legacy should remind us that what we really need is a strong and unapologetic progressive to lead us,” Manning wrote. “What we need as well is a relentless grassroots movement to hold that leadership accountable.”

Manning, who is biologically a man and used to be called Bradley Manning, was found guilty in 2013 by military court of leaking sensitive military documents to WikiLeaks and subsequently sentenced to serve 35 years in prison.

WATCH: Obama on Manning commutation

During his final week in office, Obama commuted Manning’s sentence down to just seven years, and she will be released in May. At his final news conference as president, Obama said he felt “very comfortable” that Manning had been appropriately punished for her actions.

"Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence," he said.


British PM's visit

Later Thursday, Trump will take his first trip on Air Force 1 as he travels to meet with British Prime Minister Theresa May at a retreat for Republican members of Congress in Philadelphia. Following the meeting, Trump is expected to sign more executive orders.

May is set to call for a renewal of the "special relationship" with the United States, as Britain prepares to leave the European Union, and President Trump begins his term as the U.S. leader.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street to attend parliament in London, Jan. 25, 2017.
Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street to attend parliament in London, Jan. 25, 2017.





May is scheduled to visit the White House on Friday. She will be the first foreign leader to meet with Trump in Washington since he took office.

According to her prepared remarks, May will highlight the history of a relationship she says "made the modern world" at the retreat Thursday. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence also will attend the retreat Thursday.

"So as we rediscover our confidence together — as you renew your nation just as we renew ours — we have the opportunity, indeed the responsibility, to renew the special relationship for this new age. We have the opportunity to lead, together, again," May will say, according to excerpts of her prepared remarks.

Both leaders have taken steps to reform their international relations, particularly through trade. Britain's exit from the EU and Trump's withdraw from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership will necessitate negotiating new trade agreements throughout the world.

May's plan for the EU exit includes placing a priority on controlling immigration, although she has not yet announced the proposed policy in detail.

Her visit comes as Trump signed an executive order to construct a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border and prepared another order instituting a freeze on admitting refugees and an entry ban for people from seven Muslim-majority nations in the Middle East and Africa.

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