Donald Trump claimed today after a landmark summit with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto that America's southern neighbor has agreed the U.S. has the right to build a wall along the nations' 2,000-mile border, but Mexico won't be paying according to the President.
Trump first said the cost was not bought up, telling reporters "We didn't discuss that. Who pays for the wall? We didn't discuss".
However, Nieto has come out contradicting his claim: "At the start of the conversation with Donald Trump, I made clear that Mexico will not pay for the wall," he tweeted.
In taking only a few questions from journalists, Trump boasted that Nieto agrees the idea of an impenetrable border wall - long the hallmark of his unconventional candidacy for the White House - is in the best interest of both nations.
"We want what's good for the United States and the president wants what's good for Mexico," Trump said.
Nieto did not directly address the question of a border wall, but let Trump articulate the 'five shared goals' without him - including "ending illegal immigration" and "dismantling drug cartels" and "improving" the North American Free Trade Agreement.
The Mexican president did smooth the waters between Trump and Mexico's citizens, however.
"Mexicans have felt offended by what has been said," Nieto declared, referring to some of Trump's heated rhetoric.
"But I am certain that his genuine interest is in building a relationship that will provide our mutual societies improved well-being."
The two men spoke against a backdrop that featured a Mexican flag but no American flag, an nod to the fact that Trump does not represent the United States and is only a candidate for the presidency.
But in most other respects Nieto treated him as an equal, acknowledging that the North American Free Trade Agreement - Trump's secondary beef with Mexico - could benefit from renegotiation.
"As partners we have to work together in order to avoid the loss of jobs from our region," Nieto said. "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 22 years ago."
Trump landed in Mexico City just a few hours earlier for the unusual bilateral meeting with Nieto - his first sit-down with a foreign leader since he launched his campaign last year.
Only a handful of protesters turned up downtown near the presidential palace in advance of the historic meeting. And only a small contingent of foreign reporters and photographers were there to see it.
Trump's campaign left the traveling press corps in Phoenix, where they arrived late Tuesday night in advance of a promised landmark speech Wednesday evening on the hot-button topic of immigration.
Even a press pool reporter from DailyMail.com, designated to travel with the candidate for the trip, was not granted access to accompany the campaign.
The press charter plane was available, according to a person with knowledge of the aircraft's operations, but the campaign decided not to clear it for flight.
Trump risked a backlash from Nieto after he returns to the U.S. Nieto had previously compared Trump's political rise to the early public enthusiasm shown for murderous dictators Adolph Hitler and Benito Mussolini.
But the Republican presidential nominee caught only respect from the Mexican leader, and enjoyed a formal setting usually only aforded to heads of state.
The high-risk-high-reward gambit will be closely watched by Hispanic American voters who are looking for signs that Trump is softening his threats to deport millions of people in the country illegally.