In a phone call with Mexican President Enrique Pena Niéto, Donald Trump threatened to send U.S. troops south of the border if Mexico didn’t stand up to “bad hombres down there.”
“You have a bunch of bad hombres down there,” Trump said to the Mexican president, according to a portion of the transcript obtained by the Associated Press. “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.”
The exchange is just the latest example of just how dangerous Trump is and how little he knows about international diplomacy.
More from the AP report:
The excerpt of the call did not make clear who exactly Trump considered “bad hombres,” – drug cartels, immigrants, or both – or 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.
What’s particularly troubling about the incident is that the purpose of the call, as the Associated Press noted in its report, was to “patch things up between” the two leaders after their public squabble about the funding for Trump’s border wall. Instead, the exchanged deteriorated into a “confrontational conversation,” according to the AP, citing a report from a Mexican news organization.
The news of Trump’s exchange with Mexico comes the same day that Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn threatened another country, Iran, saying the administration is putting the country “on notice.” Flynn didn’t rule out taking further steps against the country.
If you’re keeping score at home, the Trump administration has now threatened to take action against two countries – Iran and Mexico.
It’s been 12 days.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.