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Trump going to Mexico City

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POSTED August 30, 2016 8:55 p.m.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) —  Donald Trump will make a surprise trip to Mexico today to meet with the country’s president hours before delivering a highly-anticipated speech on immigration.

Trump says on Twitter that he looks “very much forward” to meeting with President Enrique Pena Nieto. The Mexican leader had invited both Trump and Hillary Clinton to visit Mexico.

Pena Nieto’s office says in its own tweet that the two men will meet in private Wednesday.

Trump has made illegal immigration and his call for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border a centerpiece of his presidential campaign. Pena Nieto has been sharply critical of Trump’s insistence that Mexico would pay for a border wall.

Trump has long called for deporting people currently living in the U.S. illegally and building a wall along the country’s border with Mexico.

But in meetings recently with Hispanic supporters, Trump has suggested he could be open to changing the hardline approach he outlined during the GOP primaries. After one such roundtable this month, his new campaign manager said Trump’s stance on deportations was “to be determined.”

In the days since, Trump and his staff have broadcast varied and conflicting messages, with Trump himself saying one day he might be open to “softening” his stance, and days later saying he might, in fact, be “hardening.”

Last week, Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto — who has been critical of Trump’s insistence that Mexico would pay for the wall — invited both the Republican nominee and Democrat Hillary Clinton to visit his country.

Trump is scheduled to speak on immigration Wednesday evening in Phoenix. He was already out West on Tuesday for a campaign stop near Seattle, conceivably giving him enough time to jet down to Mexico for a brief visit before the evening speech.

Foreign trips by presidential candidates, even to a neighboring country such as Mexico, are an enormous logistical and security undertaking. It’s unclear whether Trump could receive clearance from Secret Service to make the trip or whether his small campaign team could organize the logistics in time for even a short visit.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, a close Trump adviser, has been among those pushing Trump to make the trip, according to a person familiar with their conversations. Christie made his own successful trip to Mexico City in September 2014, and has a warm relationship with the Mexican president.

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