You can be the judge, but I think the transcript excerpt below is accurate and that Trump did threaten to send the American military to the border. I do think he meant that he would keep the troops on this side of the border, however.
The U.S. and Mexico are denying reports that President Donald Trump told his Mexican counterpart Enrique Peña Nieto that U.S. forces will handle the “bad hombres down there” if the Mexican authorities don’t.
The Associated Press reported the story, citing an excerpt from a transcript of a Friday call. A similar account, citing sources in both countries, was also reported by D.C.-based journalist Dolia Estevez.
“Reports that the President threatened to invade Mexico are false. Even the Mexican government is disputing these reports,” a White House official said.
The excerpt obtained by AP does not specifically identify who Trump meant by “bad hombres” or mention the response of the Mexican leader.
“You have a bunch of bad hombres down there,” Trump told Peña Nieto, according to the report. “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 Mexican government maintained that the conversation between the two leaders was “constructive” and pushed back on reports that Trump humiliated Peña Nieto.
“The assertions that you make about said conversation do not correspond to the reality of it,” Mexico’s foreign relations department said in a statement, as reported by AP.
“The tone was constructive and it was agreed by the presidents to continue working and that the teams will continue to meet frequently to construct an agreement that is positive for Mexico and for the United States.”
Trump has previously pledged to push back on drug violence on the U.S.-Mexico border, and promised to deport “bad hombres” and “drug lords.”
“We are going to get them out, secure the border, and once the border is secure, at a later date, we will make a determination as to the rest. But we have some bad hombres here, and we are going to get them out,” he said in October.
Both countries are in a delicate state of diplomatic relations as Trump continues to promise that Mexico will pay for his signature wall on the U.S. border. Peña Nieto canceled a planned meeting with Trump last week after he signed an executive action directing the wall project to get underway.
Peña Neto has repeatedly pledged that Mexico “will not pay for any wall.”