President Trump denounced the leaks of transcripts of his calls to the leaders of Mexico and Australia, calling them a “disgrace.”
According to Fox News, Trump said leaking the transcripts is “very much against our country.”
“It’s a very dangerous thing for this country,” he said.
The Hill reported that the White House is investigating how details of the conversations with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto were leaked to the press.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said that Trump’s conversations were “candid but respectful.”
The Associated Press revealed part of the leaked transcript on Thursday. The transcript allegedly shows President Trump threatening Mexico’s Pena Nieto with military action.
“You have a bunch of bad hombres down there. 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 phrase “bad hombres” has become one of Trump’s catchphrases. The presidential hopeful used the phrase on the campaign trail in an October debate when he vowed to rid the United States of “drug lords” and “bad people,” referring to the estimated millions of undocumented Mexican immigrants in the country.
“We have some bad hombres here,” said Trump, “and we’re going to get them out.”
One of Trump’s overreaching campaign promises was to build a wall along the border between Mexico and the United States, a project with an estimated cost of $15 billion to $15 billion, which Trump expects Mexico to pay.
Pena Nieto has refused to fund the wall, leading to tension between the Mexican president and Donald Trump.
The details of the calls with foreign leaders have many worried about Trump’s brashness and lack of diplomacy.
Vox called Trump’s calls “dangerous” and “bizarre,” reporting that in his call with Turnbull, he “bragged about his election victory and railed against a deal the Obama administration had struck with the Australian government to take in a small number of refugees currently trying to enter Australia.”
Trump reportedly told Turnbull that “this was the worst call by far” with a foreign leader and cut the conversation short.
A tweet from President Trump calls the plan to take in refugees a “dumb deal.”
Do you believe it? The Obama Administration agreed to take thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia. Why? I will study this dumb deal!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
Despite what was written in the transcripts, however, Mexico has released statements downplaying the situation. According to the Washington Post, a Mexican official said that President Trump did not “threaten war” and that the “call was constructive and friendly.”
Senators rushed to affirm the alliance between the United States and Australia in the aftermath of the call. Senators John McCain of Arizona, Bob Corker of Tennessee, and Jack Reed of Rhode Island smoothed over the situation with Australia’s ambassador to the United States, Joe Hockey.
President Trump addressed the calls at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, telling the country not to “worry about it.”
“Believe me. When you hear about the tough phone calls I’m having, don’t worry about it. Just don’t worry about it. They’re tough. We have to be tough. It’s time we’re going to be a little tough, folks. We’re being taken advantage of by every nation in the world virtually.”
Despite what was written in the transcripts, however, Mexico has released statements downplaying the situation.
According to the Washington Post, a Mexican official said that President Trump did not “threaten war” and that the “call was constructive and friendly.”
Australia’s News.com.au reported that Prime Minister Turnbull declined to provide details of the conversation with President Trump, sidestepping questions about the incident.
“I’m not going to comment on the conversation. During the course of the conversation, as you know and it was confirmed by the President’s officials spokesman, the President assured me that he would continue with — honor the agreement we entered into with the Obama administration with respect top refugee resettlement.”
Turnbull did, however, tell a Sydney radio station that “the report the President hung up is not correct.”
Trump gleefully went on Twitter to thank Turnbull, denouncing other reports as “fake news,” another one of the president’s catchphrases used to condemn media outlets that report unflattering news about his administration.
Thank you to Prime Minister of Australia for telling the truth about our very civil conversation that FAKE NEWS media lied about. Very nice!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 3, 2017
Trump has created unprecedented controversy in the weeks since his inauguration. His “war on journalists and news outlets who dare to criticize his agenda” has inspired a boycott of the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, according to the Inquisitr.
Trump has also been criticized for his immigration ban, “which effectively halted immigration from seven countries with predominantly Muslim populations,” and for his Twitter rant against the federal judge who “put a temporary block on the enforcement” of the ban.
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]