LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Recent phone calls between President Donald Trump and leaders of Mexico and Australia have sparked concern around the world.
The excerpt of a call with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto suggest Trump is using the same tough and blunt talk with world leaders that he used on the campaign trail.
Both the U.S. and Mexico governments deny the call was threatening, but it’s still generating plenty of reaction.
According to the excerpt of the call seen by the Associated Press, Trump on Friday told Nieto:
“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 excerpt did not make clear exactly who Trump considered “bad hombres”– drug cartels, immigrants, or both? — or the tone and context of the remark.
It also did not contain Nieto’s response.
Both the U.S. and Mexican governments denied details from the AP’s report with a spokesman for Nieto saying:
“I know it with absolute certainty, there was NO threat. The things that have been said are nonsense and a downright lie.”
USC Latin America Professor Gerardo Munck says if Trump’s comments are real, it could damage the nation’s important relationship with its neighbor south of the border.
“It’s as undiplomatic as you can get,” Munck said. “One expression that comes to mind is sort of ‘cowboy diplomacy’ do this or else. I don’t think that’s the way to deal with a neighbor, a big neighbor that’s been a very reliable ally of the United States.“
And things also reportedly got heated in a phone call this weekend between Trump and the prime minister of Australia when Trump objected to an agreement over the U.S. receiving refugees.
Trump reportedly ended the call abruptly because he was unhappy.
And tonight he tweeted:
The phone call between Trump and Pena Nieto was intended to patch things up between the two leaders in light of Trump’s determination to have Mexico pay for the border wall.