Trump pressured Mexico president Nieto not to oppose paying for wall

WASHINGTON, Aug 3 (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump pressured Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto earlier this year to stop publicly saying that Mexico would not pay for a planned border wall between the two countries, the Washington Post reported on Thursday.

Trump told the Mexican leader that they were both in a bit of a political bind due to Trump's campaign pledge to build a massive wall to prevent illegal immigration and have Mexico foot the bill, according to a transcript of a phone call shortly after Trump took office in January.

"They are going to say, 'who is going to pay for the wall, Mr. President?' to both of us, and we should both say, 'we will work it out,'" Trump said. "It will work out in the formula somehow. As opposed to you saying, 'we will not pay' and me saying, 'we will not pay,'" the U.S. president said.

RELATED: President Trump and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto at the G-20 summit

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President Trump and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto at the G-20 summit
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President Trump and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto at the G-20 summit
U.S. President Donald Trump meets Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto during the their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto during the their bilateral meeting at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma, Indonesia's President Joko Widodo, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Brazilian President Michel Temer, Chinese President Xi Jinping, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May, India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, U.S. President Donald Trump, European Council President Donald Tusk, International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde, Netherlands' Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, World Bank President Jim Yong Kim, Financial Stability Board (FSB) President Mark Carney, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, Saudi Arabia Minister of State Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf, United Nations Secretary-general Antonio Guterres, Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc pose for a family photo at the G20 leaders summit in Hamburg, Germany July 7, 2017. July 7, 2017. REUTERS/Ludovic Marin/Pool
US President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto hold a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto shake hands during a meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
HAMBURG, GERMANY - JULY 07: Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto (top) talks to US President Donald Trump (L) and his wife Melania Trump (R) as they attend a concert at the Elbphilharmonie philharmonic concert hall on the first day of the G20 economic summit on July 7, 2017 in Hamburg, Germany. The G20 group of nations are meeting July 7-8 and major topics will include climate change and migration. (Photo by Felipe Trueba - Pool / Getty Images)
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While Trump has repeatedly insisted that Mexico would pay for the wall, he has provided few details about how that would be done.

The White House has said U.S. government will pay for the wall initially, to get the project off the ground, but that Mexico will eventually reimburse those funds.

The Post also reported details of another heated January phone call that Trump had with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, during which the U.S. president characterized their conversation as "ridiculous." (Reporting by Ayesha Rascoe; Writing by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bernadette Baum and Alistair Bell)

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