WASHINGTON — New Hampshire lawmakers have been firing back after a leaked phone call caught President Trump referring to the Granite State as a “drug-infested den.”
Trump also claimed to Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto that he won New Hampshire, which Hillary Clinton won by 2,736 votes.
The Washington Post posted transcripts of Trump’s Jan. 27 call with his Mexican counterpart, a testy conversation in which Trump tried to convince Peña Nieto to just say in public that he’ll pay for the wall. “The fact is we are both in a little bit of a political bind because I have to have Mexico pay for the wall – I have to,” Trump said. “…If you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore because I cannot live with that.”
“Believe it or not, this is the least important thing that we are talking about, but politically this might be the most important talk about. But in terms of dollars – or pesos – it is the least important thing,” he added.
Talking about the problem of drug trafficking, Trump said, “Up in New Hampshire – I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den – is coming from the southern border.”
GOP Gov. Chris Sununu released a statement declaring “the president is wrong.”
“It’s disappointing his mischaracterization of this epidemic ignores the great things this state has to offer,” Sununu added.
Democrats who represent the state in Congress also unleashed on the remarks.
Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) tweeted that Trump’s comments “are disgusting.”
“As he knows, NH and states across America have a substance misuse crisis,” she said. “To date, @POTUS has proposed policies that would severely set back our efforts to combat this devastating epidemic. Instead of insulting people in the throes of addiction, @POTUS needs to work across party lines to actually stem the tide of this crisis.”
Rep. Annie Kuster (D-N.H.) said in a statement that she was “appalled by President Trump’s ignorant and insulting comments about New Hampshire” and said he should apologize.
“I’ve found willing partners in both Republicans and Democrats who want to work together to address the opioid crisis that’s impacting communities throughout the country,” Kuster said. “Mr. Trump’s comments underscore how little he appreciates the gravity of this issue and the need to work together collaboratively on real solutions.”
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) called it “outrageous that he would say that about New Hampshire or any other state in the United States of America.”
“The fact is what we need from the president is what he promised when he campaigned in New Hampshire, and that is help for us to address the heroin and opioid epidemic,” Shaheen told MSNBC.
“Instead, what he’s tried to do is take away treatment for those with substance use disorders, he’s taking away — tried to take away funding for law enforcement to address this. It’s time for the president to start weighing in, in a way that is helpful.”