President Donald Trump threatened in a phone call with his Mexican counterpart to send U.S. troops to stop “bad hombres down there” unless the Mexican military does more to control them, according to an excerpt of a transcript of the conversation obtained by The Associated Press.
The excerpt of the call did not detail who exactly Trump considered “bad hombres,” nor did it make clear the tone and context of the remark, made in a Friday morning phone call between the leaders. It also did not contain Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto’s response.
Still, the excerpt offers a rare and striking look at how the new president is conducting diplomacy behind closed doors. Trump’s remarks suggest he is using the same tough and blunt talk with world leaders that he used to rally crowds on the campaign trail.
A White House spokesman did not respond to requests for comment. The Mexican government said the account was not accurate.
The phone call between the leaders was intended to patch things up between the new president and his ally. The two have had a series of public spats over Trump’s determination to have Mexico pay for the planned border wall, something Mexico steadfastly refuses to agree to.
“You have a bunch of bad hombres down there,” Trump told Pena Nieto, according to the excerpt given to AP. “You aren’t doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn’t, so I just might send them down to take care of it.”
A person with access to the official transcript of the phone call provided only that portion of the conversation to The Associated Press. The person gave it on condition of anonymity because the administration did not make the details of the call public.
A Mexican journalist reported the same thing, saying that Trump “humiliated” his Mexican counterpart. Agence France Presse subsequently reported that the White House denies the conversation took place. Mexico denies it as well.
Whether it happened or not, someone in the Trump White House leaked this to the AP, and wanted people to believe that Trump spoke this way to the president of Mexico. It’s the lead story on Drudge right now. Think about that: the US president either threatened to invade Mexico, or wanted the public to think that he did — and in the process, told the Mexican president that he believed the Mexican army were a pack of cowards.
Is it just me, or is this not, you know, insane?! The US president threatened an act of war against a friendly nation. The Trump presidency’s foreign policy is turning out to be scripted by Randy Newman:
It should have been one of the most congenial calls for the new commander in chief — a conversation with the leader of Australia, one of America’s staunchest allies, at the end of a triumphant week.
Instead, President Trump blasted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over a refugee agreement and boasted about the magnitude of his electoral college win, according to senior U.S. officials briefed on the Saturday exchange. Then, 25 minutes into what was expected to be an hour-long call, Trump abruptly ended it.
At one point Trump informed Turnbull that he had spoken with four other world leaders that day — including Russian President Vladimir Putin — and that “This was the worst call by far.”
U.S. officials said that Trump has behaved similarly in conversations with leaders of other countries, including Mexico. But his treatment of Turnbull was particularly striking because of the tight bond between the United States and Australia — countries that share intelligence, support one another diplomatically and have fought together in wars including in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A senior administration official acknowledged that the conversation with Turnbull had been hostile and charged…
How the hell do you end up insulting Australia?! Maybe Trump has development plans there, and wants to get the Aussies in line. As Randy Newman hath said:
We’ll save Australia
Don’t wanna hurt no kangaroo
We’ll build an all American amusement park there
They got surfin’, too