First published: February 2, 2017, 8:02 PM IST | Updated: 12 mins ago
President Donald Trump, accompanied by Vice President Mike Pence, left, and Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, pauses while speaking at the Homeland Security Department in Washington (AP)
Washington: A White House official is confirming that President Donald Trump told Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto that he might send U.S. troops to deal with “bad hombres down there” if the Mexican military doesn’t.
The official says the remark was meant to be “lighthearted” and was a reference to cooperation between the countries in fighting drug cartels.
The Associated Press first reported Wednesday that Trump made the comment in an hour long conversation with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto on Jan. 27.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the details publicly, said “those comments, while lighthearted, were part of a discussion about how the United States and Mexico could work collaboratively to combat drug cartels and other criminal elements, and make the border more secure.”
The official described the conversation as “pleasant and constructive.”