Trump Calls New Hampshire ‘Drug-Infested Den’ in Call With Mexico’s President

  • President Donald Trump listens in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2017. Where carefully crafted policies ideally precede public messaging, advisers now often scramble to reshape policy to catch up with the president’s tweets and public declarations. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Washington Post
Published: 8/3/2017 11:04:24 AM
Modified: 8/3/2017 12:42:33 PM

Washington — President Donald Trump made building a wall along the southern U.S. border and forcing Mexico to pay for it core pledges of his campaign.

But in his first White House call with Mexico’s president, Trump described his vow to charge Mexico as a growing political problem, pressuring the Mexican leader to stop saying publicly that his government would never pay.

“You cannot say that to the press,” Trump said repeatedly, according to a transcript of the Jan. 27 call obtained by The Washington Post. Trump made clear that he realized the funding would have to come from other sources but threatened to cut off contact if Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto continued to make defiant statements.

Trump also lashed out at Peña Nieto over the flow of illegal drugs into the United States.

“We have a massive drug problem where kids are becoming addicted to drugs because the drugs are being sold for less money than candy,” Trump said. “I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den.”

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton won New Hampshire by a narrow margin, taking the state’s four electoral votes.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party released a statement this morning in which it said New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican, and the New Hampshire Repbulican Party “must fiercely condemn” the comments.

“Rather than name-call, President Trump should deliver proper aid to combat the opioid crisis,” New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley said in the release. “He hasn’t, instead slashing funds for recovery, treatment, and combatting the inflow of opioids.”

As for the wall, the funding “will work out in the formula somehow,” Trump said in the call with Peña Nieto, adding later that “it will come out in the wash, and that is OK.” But “if you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that.”

He described the wall as “the least important thing we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important.”

The heated exchange came during back-to-back days of calls that Trump held with foreign leaders a week after taking office. The Post has obtained transcripts of Trump’s talks with Peña Nieto and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Produced by White House staff, the documents provide an unfiltered glimpse of Trump’s approach to the diplomatic aspect of his job, subjecting even a close neighbor and long-standing ally to streams of threats and invective as if aimed at U.S. adversaries.

The Jan. 28 call with Turnbull became particularly acrimonious. “I have had it,” Trump erupted after the two argued about an agreement on refugees. “I have been making these calls all day, and this is the most unpleasant call all day.”

Before ending the call, Trump noted that at least one of his conversations that day had gone far more smoothly. “Putin was a pleasant call,” Trump said, referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin. “This is ridiculous.”

The White House declined to comment.

The Valley News contributed to this report.

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