Donald Trump has not even won the White House, but he is already shaking up U.S.-Mexico relations.
In an interview with Mexican newspaper El Universal that was published on Monday, Mexican president Enrique Peña Nieto said, “It appears to me that [Trump’s comments] hurt the relationship we have sought with the United States.” The Associated Press reports that up until this point Nieto has avoided making any direct comments about the Republican frontrunner, saying that he would remain “absolutely respectful” of the election process.
Whatever his personal views of Trump might be, Nieto added in the interview that he intends to cooperate with whoever U.S. voters choose to elect.
Trump has made comments about Mexico that have been deemed by many as being racist. In his infamous speech announcing his presidential campaign, he said that Mexico sends “criminals” and “rapists” over the border. He has vowed to build a wall between the two countries and even force Mexico to pay for it, something that has remained a large part of his campaign platform. Nieto has previously called Trump’s comments “very unfortunate.”
The presidential hopeful has been criticized by other Mexican political figures. Former Mexican president Vicente Fox has called him “crazy” and “a false prophet,” and even compared him to Hitler. He added that he’s “not going to pay for that f—— wall,” a sentiment echoed by Felipe Calderon, another past president. Trump responded to Fox by saying, “The wall just got 10 feet taller!”