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Trump details border wall; Mexico cancels meeting

Posted at 8:41 AM, Jan 26, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-26 12:45:53-05

In his first interview since taking his seat in the Oval Office, President Donald Trump told ABC's David Muir that a wall on the United States border with Mexico not only remains a priority, but it will happen.

However, the payment for the wall is something of an unknown - if not debated. And not, a scheduled meeting between Pres. Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto.

"Ultimately, it will come out of what's happening with Mexico. We're going to be starting those negotiations relatively soon," Pres. Trump told Muir in an interview that aired Wednesday. "And will be in a form reimbursed by Mexico." 

When asked to clarify if Mexico is expected to pay the U.S. back, Pres. Trump said, "Yes, absolutely. One-hundred percent."

Pres. Trump issued two executive actions Wednesday addressing border security. One order calls on the Secretary of Homeland Security to take "appropriate" steps to design, plan, begin construction on a southern border wall.

Though many economic and political analysts have questioned how exactly U.S. funds, if any, will be distributed to pay for the wall's construction. A design for the wall has yet to be revealed, as well.

"All it is, is we'll be reimbursed at a later date from the transaction we make from Mexico," Pres. Trump said.

Despite Pres. Trump's repeated claims that Mexico will indeed pay for the wall, Pres. Nieto told CNN that Mexico will not be paying for the wall.

"Mexico does not believe in walls. I've said time again; Mexico will not pay for any wall," Pres. Nieto said in a video statement posted to Twitter and translated by CNN from Spanish.

Pres. Nieto said via Twitter that he would wait to decide on his next steps until a final report on the proposal comes back from Mexican officials in Washington, who are there meeting with Trump administration heads.

The two leaders were scheduled to meet in a Jan. 31 meeting, however those plans were nixed Thursday, after Pres. Nieto said he contacted the White House to cancel the meeting.

"This morning we have informed the White House that I will not attend the meeting scheduled for next Tuesday with the POTUS," Pres. Nieto tweeted Thursday.

Pres. Trump was critical Thursday morning of Mexico's president.

No indication was given of when the two would meet in the future.

Pres. Trump maintained that the wall will not only benefit the U.S. by addressing illegal immigration, but help to ensure a "very stable, very solid Mexico."

"There will be a payment. It will be in a form, perhaps a complicated form, and you have to understand what I'm doing is good for the United States. It's also going to good for Mexico," Pres. Trump said. 

When pressed on when Americans will see the wall take shape, Pres. Trump said construction could begin in as little as a month.

"As soon as we can, as soon as we can physically do it," Pres. Trump.

Pres. Trump also revealed Wednesday his intention to cut off federal funding to "sanctuary cities."

Sanctuary cities have generally been defined by their policies that deny turning over or holding an individual suspected of being an undocumented immigrant to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

This, however, doesn't mean an undocumented immigrant can't be deported from these regions. It means that these cities will not turn over an individual to ICE solely because they are suspected of being in the country illegally.

Many cities have cited money, ideology, and safety concerns in working with ICE. In San Diego, Mayor Kevin Faulconer told 10News reporter Michael Chen the city is not classified as a sanctuary city, and that local officials work closely with their federal counterparts.

With that said, however, the mayor said he does not plan to change any policies currently in place in San Diego noting, "we have a system that works in San Diego."

Watch Pres. Trump's exclusive interview with ABC's David Muir: