Trump made the comments as he presented his new chief of staff, former Homeland Security secretary John Kelly, who is tasked with restoring order to a White House beset by scandal, infighting and legislative defeats, Telegraph reported.
“At Homeland, what he has done has been nothing short of miraculous,” Trump claimed as he presented his new chief of staff, former Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.
“As you know, the border was a tremendous problem and they’re close to 80 percent stoppage. And even the president of Mexico called me – they said their southern border, very few people are coming because they know they’re not going to get through our border, which is the ultimate compliment,” he added.
Rejecting the account, the Mexican presidential office said in a statement that, “President Enrique Pena Nieto has not recently communicated with President Donald Trump by phone.”
The statement said the two leaders had last discussed migration issues when they officially met for the first time on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Germany.
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall to keep illegal immigrants from entering the United States. The Mexican government has strongly rejected the claim.
As the first step to deliver on one of his most divisive campaign pledges, the US president signed a directive to begin the construction of a wall on the border with Mexico just less than a week after assuming office in Washington.
Back in January, Nieto also cancelled a trip to Washington in response to Trump’s insistence that Mexico pay for his planned border wall.
The wall could end up costing as much as $21.6 billion, far more than the administration’s estimate of $12 billion, according to reports.