The Washington Post has obtained transcripts of two “get-to-know-you” phone conversations Trump had with foreign leaders shortly after he was inaugurated: one with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and another with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Both phone calls turned contentious and embarrassing—a sign of what was to come with the erratic loser of the popular vote, Donald Trump.
In his heated conversation with President Peña Nieto, Trump blasted Mexico’s president over the flow of illegal drugs across the border into the U.S., according to a transcript of the call, published by the Washington Post.
“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.”
Peña Nieto responded that drug trafficking in Mexico is “largely supported by the illegal amounts of money and weapons coming from the United States.”
During the campaign, Trump talked about how drug addiction was hurting places like New Hampshire and stated that he would solve the opioid addiction crisis.
However, most analysts agree that it is highly unusual for a U.S. leader to negatively refer to the problems of a particular state in a conversation with a foreign leader.
Needless to say, Trump’s comments sparked a furious backlash from New Hampshire’s elected officials.
One of the first out the gate was New Hampshire’s Republican Governor Chris Sununu.
“The president is wrong,” Sununu said. “It’s disappointing his mischaracterization of this epidemic ignores the great things this state has to offer.”
Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan tweeted that Trump’s comments were “disgusting.”
“As he knows, NH and states across America have a substance misuse crisis,” tweeted Hassan, a former governor of New Hampshire.
Hassan lashed out at Trump’s budget blueprint which calls for major cuts to addiction, treatment and recovery programs.
“To date, @POTUS has proposed policies that would severely set back our efforts to combat this devastating epidemic,” tweeted Hassan. “Instead of insulting people in the throes of addiction, @POTUS needs to work across party lines to actually stem the tide of this crisis.”
Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen tweeted that Trump “owes NH an apology” and should “follow through on his promise to Granite Staters to help end this crisis.”
This week, the president’s opioid commission issued its preliminary report, in which it called for Big Pharma to develop “new, non-opioid pain relievers,” while never mentioning marijuana as an optional remedy to the problem.
Is anyone shocked? Not me.