During an immigration speech in Phoenix Wednesday night, GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump reaffirmed his intent to have Mexico pay for a wall on the southern border of the U.S. "They don't know it yet," he said to cheers, "but they're going to pay for it." Earlier in the day, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto said he told Trump during a meeting that his country would not pay for the wall. Trump said the topic didn't come up.
Mike Pence discussed Donald Trump's Mexico visit at a Sarasota, Florida rally Wednesday, assuring that we'll get information about the immigration plan.
"You know, we have a saying back in Indiana that good fences make good neighbors," Pence said to laughs. "I expect he's gonna make it real clear we're gonna restore the borders of this country, we're gonna build a wall, we're gonna stop the flood of illegal immigration and illicit drugs that are coming in to the United States of America."
Earlier, Pence criticized Hillary Clinton for not being in Mexico herself. "They both got invited to go down to Mexico to meet with the president of Mexico and Donald Trump is doing what leaders do. He seized the opportunity," Pence said.
U.S. government sources tell NBC News there was a briefing yesterday that included the Donald Trump trip to Mexico for agencies with jurisdiction.
A top official pointed out that the U.S. Secret Service has a "massive presence" in Mexico along with other related agencies including Customs & Border Protection so resources "are already on the ground and familiar with what would be required."
A top official said, the Trump trip was "not a heavy lift" to prepare and advance the trip from a security and logistics point of view.
Sources did not want to specify how many days they have known or when they received notice from the campaign because they did not want to indicate how much time is required to secure this kind of trip.
Officials said there is a history of candidates' last minute travel so this was described as "pretty easy" to accomplish.
Hillary Clinton speaking from Cincinnati on Wednesday lambasted Donald Trump's last-minute trip to Mexico, where he's expected to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, calling him a "loose cannon" unaware of what it takes to build a coalition.
"You don't build a coalition by insulting our friends or acting like a loose cannon," Clinton said. "Getting countries working together was my job every day as Secretary of State. It's more than a photo op."
Clinton added: "It certainly takes more than trying to make up for a year of insults and insinuations by dropping in on our neighbors for a few hours, and then flying home again. That is not how it works."
The morning after Donald Trump announced a surprise trip to Mexico to meet with the country's president Wednesday, the GOP nominee warred with former Mexican leader Vicente Fox over Trump's visit to a nation he's frequently maligned.
Speaking on CNN, Fox called Trump's visit a "political stunt" and warned current President Enrique Pena Nieto not to go "soft" on the Republican nominee.
"If he's perceived as going soft on Trump it will hurt him greatly. He will even be considered like a traitor because we don't accept to be offended like we just heard, and as if nothing has happened he comes here with a smile on his face," Fox said, referencing Trump's past insults aimed at Mexican immigrants.
Of Trump, he said, "This guy is not up to be a President, he is not presidential, he doesn't look presidential, he doesn't know how to run a nation, he doesn't even know how to run a business."
Trump responded on Twitter, saying Fox previously invited him to visit Mexico and referencing the former president's use of profanity earlier this year when he said in a television interview that he would not pay for "that [expletive deleted] wall."
Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway called Trump's last-minute trip to Mexico—where he's expected to meet with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto—a "decisive presidential move."
Asked to clarify details of the upcoming meeting, Conway instead criticized Hillary Clinton for not going as well.
"I'm sorry that Secretary Clinton is not going and has not accepted the invitation. I mean I feel like she keeps following the leader," Conway said on the "TODAY Show" Wednesday. "We're the leader here."
On whether to expect a reversal from Trump on his immigration plan, Conway said "you will not," referencing Trump's convention speech.
"Look at that speech, he does not talk about a deportation force there, but he makes it very clear that he hasn't changed his position at all in terms of enforcing law," Conway said.
The David and Charles Koch-backed political group Freedom Partners is so confident in Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman's reelection chances that they are cancelling a future ad buy in his state.
The group has spent close to $10 million in ads opposing Democratic challenger Ted Strickland.
But recent polls show that despite the Republican presidential frontrunner's under-performance in Ohio, Portman is pulling ahead there.
"Rob Portman has run one of the strongest campaigns of the cycle, he maintains a significant lead in virtually every poll, and the dynamics of the race have changed," Freedom Partners spokesman James Davis said.
"We will remain on air through Sept. 14 with our current ads, but given Portman's strong position in the race, we are going to drop the remaining reservation and reserve flexibility over future spending."
Donald Trump's campaign continues to send daily email reminders about the number of days since Hillary Clinton last held a press conference. Today's email is headlined: "HIDING HILLARY: DAY 269."
So just how many press conferences has Trump done in 2016? According to a tally by NBC News, that number is 17.
The full list is below and includes press conferences that were open to (most of) the press and largely organized by the campaign itself, not impromptu gaggles on his plane or pull-aside interviews.
TRUMP PRESS CONFERENCES IN 2016
- 1/21/16 -- Las Vegas, Nevada
- 1/26/16 -- Marshalltown, Iowa
- 2/2/16 -- Milford, New Hampshire
- 2/15/16 -- Charleston, South Carolina
- 2/25/16 -- Ft Worth, Texas
- 3/1/16 -- Mar-a-Lago, Florida
- 3/5/16 -- West Palm Beach, Florida
- 3/8/16 -- Jupiter, Florida
- 3/11/16 -- Palm Beach, Florida
- 3/21/16 -- Washington D.C., Old Post Office Hotel
- 4/17/16 -- Staten Island, New York
- 4/27/16 -- Trump Tower, New York City
- 5/29/16 -- Bismarck, North Dakota
- 5/31/16 -- New York City
- 6/24/16 -- Turnberry, Scotland
- 6/25/16 -- Aberdeen, Scotland (There were three press "gaggles" on this day - one on each hole of his golf course. He took questions at each although they were not traditionally organized press conferences.)
- 7/27/16 -- Doral, Florida