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Mexican President Cancels Meeting With Trump

Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has canceled a meeting with President Donald Trump as relations between Mexico and the U.S. sour over Trump's proposed border wall.

CNBC translated a Spanish-language tweet by Nieto on Jan. 26: "This morning we informed the White House that I will not attend next Tuesday's scheduled meeting [with Trump]."

Trump replied on Twitter the same day:

The U.S. has a 60 billion dollar trade deficit with Mexico. It has been a one-sided deal from the beginning of NAFTA with massive numbers...

of jobs and companies lost. If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting.

Nieto and Trump were supposed to talk about trade and immigration, but Nieto balked after Trump signed the executive order on Jan. 25.

Nieto said his country would not pay for the U.S.-Mexico border wall, and that he would meet with Mexican officials to figure out their "next steps."

Trump's proposed border wall will cost an estimated $8 billion or more. He has repeatedly promised that Mexico would pay for it even though he has no legal authority to force the country to do so. Trump reiterated that point again during an interview with ABC News on Jan. 25:

We'll be reimbursed at a later date from whatever transaction we make from Mexico. I'm just telling you there will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form. What I'm doing is good for the United States. It's also going to be good for Mexico. We want to have a very stable, very solid Mexico.

NBC News reported on Jan. 26 that the chief of the Border Patrol, Mark Morgan, had resigned, but it is not known why.

In more government shakeup news, CNN reports that four senior officials at the U.S. State Department were released on Jan. 25: Undersecretary for Management Patrick Kennedy, Assistant Secretary of State for Administration Joyce Anne Barr, Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond and Ambassador Gentry O. Smith, director of the Office of Foreign Missions. All had served under multiple previous administrations; in total, they had a combined 150 years of diplomatic experience.

The departures occurred on the same day Trump's secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson -- former CEO of Exxon-Mobil -- visited the agency headquarters in Washington D.C.

Sources: CNBC, Donald J. Trump/Twitter (2), CNN / Photo Credit: Chatham House/Flickr

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