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  MSNBC Live  MSNBC  August 31, 2016 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT

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n, and headache. tell your ctor about all the medicines yotake, and if you're pregnant or planning to be. ask your dermatologist about otezla today. otezla. show more of you. as we continue to wait for comments from donald trump in mexico city, steve kornacki will pick up our coverage from here. >> hi, kate. >> continuing our coverage, i'm steve kornacki in new york. we're continuing the wait right now. a little after 3:00 our time, a little after 3:00 east coast time. donald trump apparently arrived for that meet with the president of mexico, enrique pena nieto. they've been in that meeting now, it's going on close to about 45 minutes. it was expected originally they'd have emerged around quarter of 4:00 eastern. then you'd see from those podiums, they'd deliver a joint statement. donald trump and the president of mexico. that's been delayed.
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donald trump was a little delayed getting into the meeting. apparently delayed coming out of it as well. we're keeping an eye on those podiums. we'll see what donald trump has to say when he emerges. we'll see what enrique pena nieto, the president of mexico, has to say. this will be a carefully choreographed moment. a statement that's been hammered out behind the scenes. a product of a lot of negotiation probably. we'll keep an eye on those podiums. we'll take you to it. in the meantime, we'll go to nbc's jacob rascon on the streets in mexico city heading towards some protesters are gathered. that's a huge part of this story. obviously, donald trump has made comments about mexico, about mexicans, about immigration policy, about the relationship between these two countries that have stirred a lot of public sentiment against him in mexico. what is the scene on the street right now in mexico city?
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>> -- >> all right. sounds like we are having trouble getting some -- we don't have jacob rascon there. we'll turn to chris wilson, the deputy director of the wilson center in washington. an expert on mexican politics and u.s./mexican politics. we all know donald trump obviously, his political challenges in this country. we know he's certainly not that popular in mexico, but the willingness of the mexican president to meet him, to have this very public meeting in his capital city with him, this is a president, obviously, who has political considerations of his own. what is behind the willingness of the president of mexico to meet with donald trump? >> it's actually a bit of a mystery. thanks for having me on. this is one of the questions we're all asking ourselves.
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what's the up side potential here for president pena nieto. he's representing a population that very much feels insulted by the rhetoric of donald trump, and he's trying to present a tough image of mexico. but at the same time, he has to be welcoming because he invited donald trump to mexico for this meeting. he's got to do this strange, delicate balancing act of being welcoming. he had also standing tough and being a defender of mexicans. i'm not sure it's actually possible to do both of those at the same time. as we're seeing with protests on the street, mexicans in general, the climate right now is that the president may have made the wrong decision in accepting this meeting. i don't want to jump to any but he's due to face pressure domestically after this meeting for having set it up in the first place. >> set the stage. we're waiting for donald trump
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and pena nieto to emerge. probably a lot of americans' introduction, first time they're meeting the president of mexico in a setting like this. tell us about the political environment in mexico before today. his standing. i know the polls have not been good in mexico. an approval rating in the low 20s for him. what are his challenges? why is he unpopular right now? who is this guy americans are about to meet? >> president enrique pena nieto came into office after elections in 2012 and began his presidency with a bang. passed a number of major economic reforms that really maybe in the long term have the potential to transform the country in positive ways. following that, a series of scandals, around corruption issues, some involving contracts that may have been sweetheart deals with contractor building public works in mexico, having provided financing or helping give houses to the president's wife and his inner circle. human rights issues that have come up regarding the
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disappearance of 43 students in mexico. there have been issues most recently about the fact he may have -- it's still not totally clear -- but he may have plagiarized parts of his thesis as a student to be a lawyer in mexico. so he's facing these swirling accusations. and an economy not performing at the rate mexicans need it to grow to pull people out of poverty and grow the middle class. in that context, some of the lowest approval ratings a president of mexico has had for two decade. that's the challenge. whether or not donald trump can change any of that for him is to be seen, i suppose. but at the very least, this could be a bit of a distraction from some of the domestic challenges the president is facing. it could also be something that just adds to them. adds to the level of criticism. as does this negative feeling
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that's going on. and so he's trying to find a way to pull something out of this. at least one of the things we have to think about is that the mexican government probably did not expect the invitation to donald trump to be acted upon. they probably didn't expect him to say yes and come to mexico. so the invitation was one of saying we'd like to have positive relations with mexico. we'd like to be off on the right foot with whoever becomes the next president of the united states. and so an invitation to visit, it would be a nice gesture in that sense. but when donald trump actually accepts the invitation, all of a sudden, you are creating a photo op of the person seen as calling mexicans rapists and murderers, being welcomed into the country. so that's the challenge here is that no matter what, they say, the picture will be one of a handshake and the president of mexico welcoming donald trump to mexico. >> chris wilson, stand by.
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keeping an eye there on the left-hand side of your screen. we're waiting for that press conference. actually it will not be a press conference. our understanding is that donald trump and enrique pena nieto will come out and deliver a joint statement. some reporting from bloomberg this meeting trump is having with the president of mexico is about five days of planning in the works about what exactly would be discussed, what the agenda for the meeting would be. any statement the two would come out and deliver together would be the product of lots of negotiation. all right. sounds like something is happening in the room. let's -- let's take a look. we have kelly o'donnell. here we go. we're going to go right into the room and see what they have to say.
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[ speaking spanish ] >> translator: good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. we shall now hear from the president of mexico. >> translator: good evening to you all. on the next coming 8th of november, the people of the united states will elect a new president of the united states of america. i am absolutely certain that the electoral process will be one with intense debate and many ideas and a full citizen participation which are all the characteristics of the great
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democratic tradition of the united states of america. both hillary clinton and mr. donald trump have publicly expressed their respect towards me. as the president barack obama has said, the next president of the united states will find in mexico and in its government a neighbor that wishes to work in a constructive way in order to strengthen and increase the relationship between our nations, bonds of our countries and to face our common challenges. if we decide to look at our opportunities together as friends, as good neighbors and as strategic allies based on a relationship which is founded on
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mutual respect, although we do not agree on everything, we trust that together we'll be able to find greater prosperity without losing sight of the fact that liberty and independence are the grounds for everything we do. any close relationship has to be revised and renewed once in a while. we are always open to discussions to look at what works and doesn't work. how to improve things on both sides of the border. how can we clarify and overcome misunderstandings and understand each other better. in this spirit, in the last few days, i sent a letter to both presidential candidates to mrs. hillary clinton and to mr. donald trump proposing that we should meet with each other and to have a constructive conversation about our shared
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destinies. i have met today with mr. donald trump, and i hope that i will soon be meeting with mrs. hillary clinton, with whom i have had the pleasure of speaking in the past, also here at the official residence. we're not in agreement on all topics. mr. donald trump, who is present here, shows basic fundamental thing in common. our respective countries are important to each other. the united states is very important for mexico. and, likewise, mexico is very important for the united states. we share -- we share one of the most heavily transited borders in the world. every day, there are over 1 million people who legally cross the border and 400,000 vehicles. trade between the countries is
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over $500 million per year, and we produce things jointly and in terms of security, there is daily cooperation between our governments which is growing year by year in order to meet the challenges of a very complex world. i had a conversation with mr. trump that was open and constructive. the purpose of our meeting was to get to know each other and to exchange our opinions and our views on our bilateral relations. on the bilateral relations and in issues of trade, i share with trump the notion that the free trade agreement north america has been very good both for the united states and for mexico. exports by the united states to mexico represent around $200
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million per year. and the agreement of the chamber of commerce, according to the na chamber of commerce, about 6 million jobs in the united states depend on these exports to mexico. our country buys more from the united states than germany, spain, france and italy, japan and the united kingdom altogether. there are many manufacturing jobs in the united states that have not moved to other regions of the world, specifically because together we've been able to develop a competitive manufacturing platform in the north american region. and 40% of the mexican exports are made in the united states. as partners, we have to work together in order to avoid the
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loss of jobs from our region. however, this does not mean that the north american free trade agreement can't be improved to the benefit of both parties. it is an agreement that was signed over 12 years ago. the next president of the united states will find in my government a partner who wants to build the road to modernization so that we become more effective in generating quality jobs and better paying jobs in both countries. i do not believe that trade must be zero-sum, that one loses when one wins. quite on the contrary. it should be seen as an effort that produces value on both sides and that makes our region,
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north america, the most competitive and innovative one in the whole world. with regard to border relations, i have a very clear view on that. the border must be changed. there have been many developments in the last few years. we have worked closely together with the obama administration and with the next administration, we must keep on with those efforts so that the border between mexico and the united states becomes more efficient and safer. however, there is a considerable number of american citizens who see the border as a real problem because undocumented people and illegal drugs cross the border towards the united states. nondocumented immigration from mexico to the united states reached a maximum point ten
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years ago and has been diminishing since then. and it is now even negative as a net rate. but even so, we know that it is a shared challenge to face the number of non-mexican who cross the border coming through our country going to the united states and also leading to serious humanitarian issues. however, this is a vision that is, obviously, incomplete and which needs to be addressed. when one has to take into account the flow of cash and of illegal weapons coming from the south, every year millions of dollars of illegal weapons and cash enter mexico illegally from the north, which benefit the cartels and lead to illegal actions generating violence in
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mexico and which lead to benefits in the drug trade in the united states. and this flow has to come to an end. what we need is to have an overall focus, an overall policy on the border which deals with undocumented immigrants, the flow of drugs, weapons and cash, all at the same time. many lives could be saved on both sides of the border if the criminal organizations stop receiving the flow of cash and weapons that permit them to carry out their illegal activities. the illegal flow of weapons, drugs and cash going in both directions have many bad consequences for both sides of the border. our border must be seen as a
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mutual opportunity for both countries. our countries must invest more in it. more infrastructure, more people and more technology to make it more safe and more efficient. but i recognize the fundamental right of each country to protect its borders. at the same time, there should be a true spirit of collaboration between neighbors and allies, which is the best way to go forward. i would like to express to mr. trump that to make the border with mexico safer with our friends and neighbors from central america is of vital importance to mexico and the united states. likewise, in regard to national security, mexico and the united states have worked together to deal with the challenges coming from a complex environment. a complex world. every day, safety, security agencies on both sides of the
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border exchange information and coordinate their actions. independently of the results, the elections in the united states, the next american administration can expect our goodwill and our effort to make the north american region safer. mr. trump, i would like to once again reiterate what i said to you a few moments ago in private. my priority as president of mexico and the priority of my government is to protect the mexican mexicans, wherever they are. that is my responsibility, and i will continue working for that purpo purpose. every day exchanges between the united states n mexico
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contributed talent and prosperity on both sides of the border in mexico and the united states. mexicans and the united states are honest people and hard working. they are well intentioned people. they are good people who respect the institution of the family and community life and who respect the law. as such, the mexicans respect -- deserve the respect of everyone. i will continue working to consolidate the relationship between the united states and mexico based on mutual respect, trust and common attention to our common challenges. and i will conclude by saying that the government of mexico will be absolutely respectful of the electorate -- of the elections in the united states. we recognize their decision to
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continue constructive dialogue. a dialogue which is the way forward. for those who think differently to come together, the dialogue is the way forward because it leads to better understanding. thank you very much. >> thank you. it is a great honor to be invited by you, mr. president. a great, great honor. thank you. we had a very substantive, direct and constructive exchange of ideas. over quite a period of time. i was straightforward in presenting my views about the impacts of current trade and immigration policies on the united states. as you know, i love the united states very much, and we want to
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make sure that the people of the united states are very well protected. you equally expressed your feelings and your love for mexico. the united states and mexico share a 2,000-mile border, a half a trillion dollars in annual trade, and 1 million legal border crossings each and every day. we are united by our support for democracy, a great love for our people, and the contributions of millions of mexican americans to the united states. and i happen to have a tremendous feeling for mexican americans, not only in terms of friendships but in the tremendous numbers that i employ in the united states. and they are amazing people. amazing people. i have many friends, so many friends and so many friends coming to mexico and in mexico.
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i am proud to say how many people i employ. and the united states first, second and third generation mexicans are just beyond reproach. spectacular, spectacular, hardworking people. i have such great respect for them. and their strong values of family, faith and community. we all share a common interest in keeping our hemisphere safe, prosperous and free. no one wins in either country when human smugglers and drug traffickers prey on innocent people, when cartels commit acts of violence, when illegal weapons and cash flow from the united states into mexico, or when migrants from central america make the dangerous trek,
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and it is very, very dangerous, into mexico or the united states without legal authorization. i shared my strong view that nafta has been a far greater benefit to mexico than it has been to the united states and that it must be improved upon to make sure that workers in both countries benefit from fair and reciprocal trade. i expressed that to the united states and of the united states, that we must take action to stem this tremendous outflow of jobs from our country. it's happening every day. it's getting worse and worse and worse. and we have to stop it. prosperity and happiness in both of our countries will increase
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if we work together on the following five shared goals. number one, ending illegal immigration. not just between our two countries, but including the illegal immigration and migration from central and south americans and from other regions that impact security and finances. in both mexico and the united states. this is a humanitarian disaster. the dangerous treks, the abuse by gangs and cartels, and the extreme physical dangers, and it must be solved. it must be solved quickly. not fair to the people anywhere worldwide, you can truly say, but certainly not fair to the people of mexico or the people of the united states. number two, having a secure border is a sovereign right.
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and mutually beneficial. we recognize and respect the right of either country to build a physical barrier or wall on any of its borders to stop the illegal movement of people, drugs and weapons. cooperation toward achieving this shared objective, and it will be shared, of safety for all citizens, is paramount to both the united states and to mexico. number three, dismantling drug cartels and ending the movement of illegal drugs, weapons and funds across our border. this can only be done with cooperation, intelligence and intelligence sharing and joint operations between our two countries. it's the only way it's going to
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happen. improving nafta, number four. nafta is a 22-year-old agreement that must be updated to reflect the realities of today. there are many improvements that could be made that would make both mexico and the united states stronger and keep industry in our hemisphere. we have tremendous competition from china and from all over the world. keep it in our hemisphere. workers in both of our countries need a pay raise, very desperately. in the united states it's been 18 years. 18 years. wages are going down. improving pay standards and working conditions will create better results for all, and all workers in particular. there's a lot of value that can be created for both countries by
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working beautifully together. and that i am sure will happen. number five, keep manufacturing wealth in our hemisphere. when jobs leave mexico, the u.s. or central america and go overseas, it increases poverty and pressure on social services, as well as pressures on cross-border migration. tremendous pressure. the bond between our two countries is deep and sincere. and both our nations benefit from a close and honest relationship between our two governments. a strong, prosperous and vibrant mexico is in the best interests of the united states, and will keep and help keep for a long, long period of time america
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together. both of our countries will work together for mutual good, and most importantly, for the mutual good of our people. mr. president, i want to thank you. it's been a tremendous honor. and i call you a friend. thank you. >> [ inaudible ]. >> i think excellent. i have tremendous respect for the president. we were actually together for quite some time. and i think excellent. i was with, as you know, senator sessions. and we had a tremendous, more than an hour, i think, really very good. yes? >> [ inaudible ]. >> no, not at all. we want what's good for the
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united states. and the president wants what's good for mexico. and in sitting down and talk, we both realize, we realized from the beginning, that it's good for both of us. better for both of us. yes, john? >> [ inaudible ]. >> we didn't discuss that. we didn't discuss who pays for the wall. we didn't discuss that. >> [ inaudible ]. you've had some very hard things directed towards you. is the wall a nonstarter? >> well, i'll start. nothing like an easy question like that. we didn't discuss the wall. we didn't discuss payment of the wall. that will be for a later date. this was a preliminary meeting. i think it was an excellent meeting.
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and we are -- i think we're very well on our way. a lot of the things i said are very strong, but we have to be strong. we have to say what's happening. there is crime, as you know. there's a lot of crime and a lot of problems. but i think together we'll solve those problems. i really believe that the president and i will solve those problems. we will get them solved. illegal immigration is a problem for mexico as well as for us. drugs are a tremendous problem. for mexico as well as us. it's not a one-way street. and we'll work together and we'll get those problems solved. >> translator: first specific with -- in which i've expressed how the government of mexico has shown complete respect for the elections in the united states,
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trump has quickly answered the question deal with bilateral relationships. the relevance between the two -- the relationship between the two countries, the importance, the strategic partnership between the two countries, i have -- it's something that i have underscored. and the president of mexico has great responsibility of defending the interests of the mexicans. the mexicans here in mexico and those who are outside of mexico. there has maybe been a poor misunderstand i misunderstanding or statements that have maybe utter, unfortunately, and impacted -- had an impact on mexicans and their perception of the candidacy -- of his candidacy.
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and i respect that. mexicans have felt offended by what has been said. but i am certain that his genuine interest is in building a relationship that will provide our mutual societies' improved well-being, and that the intention and will of the president of mexico is to meet with both candidates in the presidential elections in the united states so that we can build together. but, above all, on the basis of a mutual respect between us, that is what i shared with mr. trump, the candidate. >> as donald trumpal out of the briefing room there in mexico city, with the president of mexico, brian williams here with you from new york as our
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special coverage continues into this kind of extraordinary, certainly hastily arranged visit by mr. trump to mexico. we just heard there what was not discussed. we heard earlier what was discussed. md to try to get our arms around all of this, we will start off by going across town to the studios at bloomberg television where she's filling in tonight as co-host of the broadcast "with all due respect" airing at 6:00 eastern, nicolle wallace, former communications director in the bush white house. nicolle, i think it will be fair to say this is not the donald trump of a year ago, a week ago, a day ago. what do you make of it? >> first off, having worked for a president, you couldn't help but notice the similarity between the actual backdrop behind his head. it's very similar to what a president or any world leader stands in front of when they address the united nations. a more presidential setting or
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backdrop you could not have conceived if you had the job of conceiving a presidential appearance. we in the political press will fixate on what you were talking about. he didn't talk about the wall or who pays for the wall. but voters who are going to sort of turn to this election anew this week and next will have a new image of donald trump. one they've never seen before. him standing shoulder to shoulder in a nearly subdued manner, speaking off note cards, standing next to a world leader who invited him to come to his country. it was, on stagecraft, an a-plus. on substance, tbd. we don't know of anything they discussed will sort of hold up. we don't know if the comments about nafta are central to the campaign donald trump has run. he talked about the agreement not serving america as well as it has served mexico. i had heard from one of trump's advisers that part of the outcome of today's meeting would
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be to make mexico a partner in renegotiating nafta with trump. i'm sorry, with china to have america and mexico partner up. so i don't know if that came to be. i think people who have countered him out will have to take a look at what he pulled off with a lot of secrecy and in terms of pulling off the stagecraft. as a guy who hasn't given up yet. he's still very much in the fight. we'll see if voters are still willing to accept a sort of trump 3.0, which is what he tried to present today in mexico. >> one more question, and i know you have to go n get ready for your other broadcast today. and the question is this, to coin a phrase, with all due respect, any politician can do what we just saw. a kind of five-point statement shagging off fastball questions about, oh, the wall, we didn't discuss who is going to pay for it. but given donald trump's base, the base, i guess, of your new design republican party, how
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will this go over on his signature issue? >> listen. the reality is that the terrain the campaign is being fought on is not favorable to donald trump. he's put himself in a box where the 40% of the republican party that he's reinspired is very animated by his promise to deport the 11 million people who are here. that's wildly unpopular beyond his base of support. and that's wildly unpopular where he stood today. in terms of changing or adjusting or tweaking the conto contours, i'm not sure he made any progress on that point. but in terms of repackaging himself, which is not irrelevant. you know, we spend a lot of time talking about how voters perceive these candidates. part of it is what they look like. today he certainly looked like someone who can take the stage. whether he passes on substance, i don't think we know yet how voters will process his responses. we just heard them ourselves.
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you're right on the substance on this question of immigration, he has painted himself into a very narrow box. >> nicolle wallace, we'll look for you tonight on "with all due respect." thank you very much. now to a member of our family who was in the room for what we just witnessed in mexico city. jose diaz-balart. n i'm going to rely on you to give the folks watching a little bit of background on the popularity of not just donald trump but of the mexican president right now in mexico going into today. >> brian, let's go with some recent numbers by the newspaper that does very respectable polling in mexico. the latest poll shows enrique pena nieto, the profit mexico, has a 23% favorability among the mexican people. but that's low, brian. until you compare and contrast it with the favorability to
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donald trump has in mexico. 3%. these are two people that right now aren't the favorite sons of anyone here in mexico. n the fact president nieto would meet with donald trump, a man that for more than a year has been talking about how the wall will be built and mexico will pay for it, imagine how a country sees another potential president talking about how they, the mexicans, are going to pay. not trying to get the mexicans to pay. we're going to see if working together, some of the methods used here today. it's we're going to make them pay. and that's been going on for a year. so to see donald trump here today and nicolle was talking about how he does change the
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narrative in the sense the president of mexico standing side by side with donald trump, a man who has been saying for a year now that those who crossed the border illegally are rapists and murders. but they're also parents and grandparents and people who have been working and contributing to our country, to the united states of america. many of them for generations. many of them underneath the shadows but working. and progressing and contributing. so it's very interesting. there's a hashtag that's been trending all day. it's call -- "trump is not welcome." i don't know how much this visit is going to change that sentiment. >> jose, what was the vibe like in the room? we were limited to the pictures we could see. we could see the backs of the heads of senator sessions, former mayor giuliani and what looked like trump's son-in-law
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having made the trip. we could hear some hubbub in the background, but what was it like in there? >> maybe 75 reporters and -- many of them [ inaudible ]. i sat by miguel, and interesting -- it was a cordial kind of body language. and then in the conversation, in the declarations they each had, we're here to learn from each other and [ inaudible ] -- in nafta and it's really kind of so different than what we've been seeing for a year now.
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if you or anybody watching had kind of hypothesized a year ago what a meeting between donald trump n tand the president of mexico would look like or sound like, i think we probably in the last year think it wouldn't have sounded anything like what we heard here today. >> jose diaz-balart joining us by telephone from mexico city. he was present in the room for this event we just witnessed. let's take a step back and remember what preceded this and what now follows this. this was a hastily arranged. that may do this event a favor by calling it that. hastily put together. the members of the press corps who travel with and cover donald trump day-to-day learned pretty much along with the rest of us this was a go last night. the people who were there in the room who are recognizable american reporters were really
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limited to a list who happened to have access to a passport. got their passports fished out and flown to them or were traveling with their passports. they made commercial air arrangements to get down there. and thus, we heard a few questions from the american reporters. it was a challenge, let's call it that, for security, for logistics, for members of the u.s. secret service. they apparently have avoided the added security challenge and the appearance of anything going wrong in a motorcade through mexico city by helicoptering donald trump from the airport to the grounds of the presidential palace. so a lot went into this. and then, of course, the day culminates tonight with a speech and rally in phoenix that the trump campaign has been promoting as his definitive statement on immigration.
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we're happy to be joined by chris wilson, deputy director of the mexico institute at the wilson center. chris, what did you make of what we just witnessed? >> wow. what a huge change in tone since last summer for donald trump about mexico. he talked about partnership. he talked about shared responsibility for joint problems. things like drug trafficking, being something the united states and mexico should be working on together. the tone could not have been any more different from what we've heard and gotten used to hearing over the last several months and even year. but in terms of policy, i'm not sure that i heard any real changes. we still heard a tough line on immigration. we're still talking about a wall. it will be very interesting what happens tonight in the speech to see if we hear any real changes in policy there. certainly the posture toward nafta and trade was a similar one to what we've heard before, except for perhaps one thing
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there, which was that we started talking about -- traditionally mexico has been made out to be the villain of nafta and trade and where the jobs in the united states that are lost are going to, but here we heard today about the united states and mexico working together to defend regional manufacturing, to defend jobs in the hemisphere, vis-a-vis competitors like china. and that's a much more realist ic description of the environment the united states is in. we have a system of joint manufacturing between our two countries. and trade with mexico actually supporting that rather than taking away from that. minor shifts there, but let's see how they turn into policies. i think that's the big question here. but nonetheless, huge change in tone. >> one of my oxioms is a week is a year in politics, and to your first point, help me rewind a bit here and let's remember that 218 words into his speech
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announcing his candidacy, he said, mexico is not our friend. believe me. this is light years from the donald trump we've come to know and we've seen almost on a daily basis during this campaign. >> that's exactly right. it's an enormous change in the way that he described mexico. no talk about rapists and murderers. there's talk about friends and partners. about the ability for us to find common interests. and the two countries will each, the two presidents will each have to defend vosis roughly their populations. but the idea that shifted is they can do that together vis-a-vis problems around the world. so the tone shifting between night and day from what we've been used to hearing. i really can't wait to hear this speech tonight because i think that will give us an insight into whether or not there's two
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messages going on. this is one thing the trump candidacy has been so adept at. speaking to mu ing ting to mult. . is there one message for an audience in mexico and another message for the audience in the united states or is this truly a shift in the campaign? is this a shift to the general election approach? a shift to a little softer, more humanized approach to migration? and we'll just have to see. >> chris wilson, deputy director of the mexico institute at the woodrow wilson international center for scholars. thank you for being a part of our coverage. and now let's preview this evening, kelly o'donnell standing by in phoenix, arizona. again, the scene of tonight's speech on immigration. kelly, hard to know where to beginning. but to sum up our last two conversations, the remarks we just heard, give or take a few
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items on the margin, could be delivered by a national rank politician. how will it go over? that donald trump before his base at the event tonight? >> from my report, what we heard from donald trump may just stay in mexico, and there may be a return to the feistier donald trump by the time he arrives here in phoenix. from my reporting, the plan for the immigration speech is for donald trump to sort of take back the harder line and to be able to do that following this moment on the world stage where he had that private meeting with the credibility of having jeff sessions who is one of the most hard-liners on immigration who has been influential in his policy. rudy giuliani with him there in mexico. expect that donald trump will try to recapture some of the fire. now at the same time, those advisers who have been encouraging him to have this sort of a moment, think this is
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a plus he was able to appear, that he was somber in tone. there was a plan to have this joint statement that was worked out. a demonstration of his ability to be a lower volume. at the same time, these points that he outlined, his five points touching on things. very respectful of the relationship with mexico and some of their broader concerns about migration from countries south from them. that kind of thing is something that donald trump seems to want to agree to do to put him on that same stage. i think it's very important to know in the inner workings of the trump campaign, trump's son-in-law has really been influential in bringing this trip about, arguing for its importance. other advisers agreed as well believing there was value in it. but it is hard to overstate the influence of someone who doesn't have the title in the campaign but has maybe the closest seat at the table. that's trump's son-in-law, jared kushner.
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this type of opportunity for donald trump to be seen in the ways with the lecterns and the trappings of statesmanship and to do that prior to giving this address, to be able to have touched the note he has looked face-to-face, met a world leader in the eye. so what happens when he gets to phoenix? how will it be changed? one thing we know about donald trump is he feeds off the audience. when he's in the setting we just saw, there isn't that give and take and energy to give from. he has to listen through an interpretation and think about the comments. it's sort of a question that he took questions. typically someone not a head of state wouldn't necessarily do that. is that a political risk? we'll have to see how it pays out. it helped us find out an answer to the question, who pays for the wall question and wasn't donald trump unusually measured there saying this was a discussion about the wall but paying for it is for later.
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typically not donald trump's style to sort of parcel outing his views. that seemed to be a nod of trying to be in the cloak of what a candidate, what a possible president would do. so very interesting. expect tonight to be more about hillary clinton, her plans on immigration and that serves two purposes that are important at this late stage of the campaign. any moment they're talking about hillary clinton is a good day for donald trump. and when you have it be about an issue as potent as immigration, that's what the campaign wants to see. >> before we return to steve kornacki who hour we've stepped here, one more question, what can we expect in terms of audience, audience size, backdrop. is this a seated speech or standing rally with a speech on immigration? >> well, my understanding is it's more formal in that setting but with a crowd that's also been infused by the republican
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party of arizona. this is a more sanctioned, formal gathering. we've already seen the trappings of those people who like to come to trump events with their flags and signs. some of that has started. we're still hours off. but that kind of a move will mix both a more establishment view and more trump rally vibe. of course, this mexico trip hastily planned but something i've learned that the trump campaign has been thinking about for a period of weeks. would there be a way to have such a meeting occur, and they made it happen. >> thank you, kelley. having heard from phoenix and mexico city, after a break, we'll head down to the u.s./mexico border as our live coverage continues. dr. scholl's massaging gel work ioles absorb a hard day on your feet for comfort that keeps you feeling more energized. dude's got skills. dr. scholl's work insoles. i'm claudine and i quit smoking with chantix. by the time i was 30, i said "that's it, i'm a smoker for life."
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back here in new york. i'm steve kornacki. we've seen donald trump with that press conference, a joint appearance with the president of mexico, enrique pena nieto. donald trump now making his way back north of the border. he's set for the second major component of his day, a few hours from now. he'll be in phoenix, arizona, delivering a much-anticipated speech, a major speech, his campaign says, where he'll outline his definitive position on the question of immigration. two months before the election. there's been some question about donald trump and exactly what he's going to be calling for on immigration. he said a week ago he may be softening his position. obviously, lots of questions about what those mean. those questions heightened by some of what you just saw. looking at the screen there, that's was a few minutes ago.
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donald trump with the president of mexico, holding that press conference. a couple notable things. donald trump who launched his campaign for president over a year ago saying that mexico should not be considered our friend. at the end of that press conference he extended his hand to the president of mexico and said, i consider you a friend. donald trump who also in that press conference in that speech, when he announced his candidacy for president back in june 2016, he talked about mexicans coming across the southern border into the united states as rapists, as murderers. he said today this press conference that mexican americans, first generation, second generation, third generation, he considers them beyond reproach. certainly a different tone there from donald trump in those comments today. we'll bring in jacob soboroff, down along the u.s./mexican border in anticipation of this speech today. obviously, the border featuring prominently, not just in donald trump's comments today. donald trump reiterated his call for a wall along the u.s. border. he said notably that issue of
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having mexico pay for it, that was not addressed in this meeting today. also the president of mexico talking about border security as well. he was talking about it from the south, in terms of central america and south america. >> absolutely, steve. let me tell you where we are now. this is just north of tijuana, mexico. the border patrol took me on a tour to show me a place on the border with mexico here in the san diego sector where there is no border wall. there are nine sectors of the border patrol, the border patrol regions with mexico. this is only one of them. the border patrol maintains they don't need a wall in that location because of a combination of technology, infrastructure and manpower. interestingly, we heard the exact same language from mexican president enrique pena nieto. with technology, infrastructure and manpower, the two countries can work together on illegal
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immigration. the border patrol used that phrase in the context of that needing a wall along the entirety of the southern border. whether or not the mexican president meant to use that phrase for the same reason, is obviously to be determined. but it will be interesting to know, what did he talk about inside that room with donald trump? did he use that same terminology, did he do it in the context, not necessarily meaning a border wall across the entire border but additional means of enforcement. the border patrol here in the united states likes to say that using that three-pronged approach, the level of apprehensions along the southern border here with mexico is at an all-time low. or near an all-time low. they have done that without a border wall across the southern border. again, interesting to hear the mexican president use the same language there today. >> jacob soboroff along the u.s./mexico border. all the attention shifting back to the northern side of that
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border. donald trump set to give that major speech on immigration just a few hours from now. we'll have live coverage at 9:00. i will be back here at 7:00 for "hardball." first, "mtp daily" starts right now. if it's wednesday, another trumpian side show takes center stage. the donald shakes things up with a sudden trip to mexico. the savvy political move stealing the spotlight from hillary clinton? or a disaster in the making? >> you don't build a coalition by insulting our friends or acting like a loose cannon. plus, why trump may be the most disliked american in mexico. >> i'm not going to pay for that [ bleep ] wall. >> and it was the night of sore losers. >> i hope the senator can rest comfortably. >> how yesterday's primaries brought out the worst in some political candidates. this is