At a Customs and Border Protection roundtable last week, President Donald Trump threatened countries that fail to stem the rise of drugs with a loss of aid from the United States, according to The Hill.
The remarks, which took place at the Customs and Border Protection National Training Center in Virginia, highlighted the administration’s battle on border security in ways unrelated to illegal immigration.
“I want to stop the aid. If they can’t stop drugs from coming in, ’cause they can stop them a lot easier than us. They say, ‘oh we can’t control it.’ Oh great, we’re supposed to control it,” Trump told gathered officials, according to CNN.
“So we give them billions and billions of dollars, and they don’t do what they’re supposed to be doing, and they know that. But we’re going to take a very harsh action.”
“These countries are not our friends,” Trump added.
“You know, we think they’re our friends and we send them massive aid.
“I won’t mention names right now, but I look at these countries, I look at the numbers we send them — we send them massive aid and they’re pouring drugs into our country and they’re laughing at us,” he continued.
“So I’m not a believer in that. I want to stop the aid.”
However, Trump seemed to name the countries later, arguing that El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico could do a better job with intercepting drugs.
“They’re coming in — they’re pouring in from other — El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, all over,” Trump said.
“They’re just pouring into our country. And we’ve stopped it, but the laws make it very tough.”
The remarks came in the same week as the president’s State of the Union address, in which he promised to be “much tougher on drug dealers and pushers.”
“My administration is committed to fighting the drug epidemic and helping get treatment for those in need, for those who have been so terribly hurt,” Trump said.
However, for dealers, traffickers and the countries that make life easier for them, it’s clear that the Trump administration plans to play hardball.
That could be very bad news for a lot of countries, particularly ones that don’t want to work with the president on border security.
Trump might not have wanted to name names, but they know who they are.
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