According to The Washington Post, Donald Trump called the state of New Hampshire a “drug-infested den” during a heated phone call in January with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.
“We have a massive drug problem where kids are becoming addicted to drugs because the drugs are being sold for less money than candy. I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den.”
Trump won the Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire but lost there to Hillary Clinton in the general presidential election.
During the campaign, Trump spoke frequently about how drug addiction was hurting places like New Hampshire. But it’s highly unusual for a U.S. president to paint such a bleak picture of a state in a call with a foreign leader.
His comments sparked a furious reaction from New Hampshire’s elected officials.
Sen. Maggie Hassan in a tweet on Thursday called Trump’s comments about her state “disgusting.”
“As he knows, NH and states across America have a substance misuse crisis,” she said.
Hassan, a former governor of the state, also hit Trump for including major cuts to addiction, treatment and recovery programs in his administration’s budget blueprint.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen tweeted that Trump “owes NH an apology” and should “follow through on his promise to Granite Staters to help end this crisis.”
Trump’s conversation with Nieto was one of a string of get-to-know-you phone calls following the inauguration that turned contentious.
The nature of the call was previously disclosed, but the transcript obtained by the Post sheds new light on some of the details.
Nieto responded that drug trafficking in Mexico is “largely supported by the illegal amounts of money and weapons coming from the United States.”
Trump pleaded with his Mexican counterpart to stop saying publicly his government would never pay with a border wall, which he said undermined one of his core campaign promises.
He also blasted Nieto over the U.S. trade deficit with Mexico and threatened to cut off remittance payments if the Mexican leader didn’t reverse his rhetoric on the wall.
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