Donald Trump Warns Mexican President To Handle "Bad Hombres"
A phone call between Presidents Donald Trump and Enrique Peña Nieto has uncovered a troubling layer of discourse Trump has taken as commander in chief.
The Wall Street Journal reports transcripts of a phone call between Trump and Mexican Enrique Peña Nieto made last Friday (Jan. 27) were made public Wednesday evening (Feb. 1) by The Associated Press and CNN. During their call, Trump criticized Mexico's efforts to take down drug cartels and mentioned that the U.S. troops would step in if nothing changes. “You have some pretty tough hombres in Mexico that you may need help with. We are willing to help with that big-league, but they have be knocked out and you have not done a good job knocking them out,” Trump reportedly said.
Trump has used the problematic language during his presidential debates when promising voters he would get rid of "drug lords" and "bad people." The U.S. and Mexico have subsequently denied the conversation turned awry, with the Mexican government claiming the reports “do not correspond to reality.” “The tone was constructive and an agreement was reached so work teams could meet often to build a positive accord for both Mexico and the U.S.,” Mexico’s foreign ministry added.
Trump subtly mentioned the conversation during the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington Thursday (Feb. 2). “When you hear about the tough phone calls I’m having, don’t worry about it,” Trump said. “They’re tough. We have to be tough. It’s time we’re going to be tough, folks. We’re taken advantage of by every nation in the world, virtually. It’s not going to happen anymore.”
Mexican leaders like Alejandro Hope, Director of Security Policy at the Mexican Competitiveness Institute, and Gabriela Cuevas, head of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, are demanding Peña Nieto disclose the details of the call. “This would give us some certainty about what really happened,” Cuevas said.
Trump's calls have critics worried about the country's future with its allies. His language with Peña Nieto was mirrored as he spoke with Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull. Trump called the Obama administration's prior agreement to welcome a small number of refugees into the U.S. "dumb" after finding out about the deal during the call. He also bragged to both leaders about the number of people at his inauguration ceremony.