President Trump bashes California Gov. Jerry Brown for limiting National Guard mission at Mexico border

Key Points
  • Trump takes aim at Gov. Jerry Brown's decision to limit California's National Guard mission at the border.
  • "The high crime rate will only get higher," Trump tweets.
  • Brown said he would not permit troops to fully engage in immigration enforcement on the border.
Trump bashes the California governor for limiting its National Guard mission at the border

President Donald Trump on Tuesday took aim at California Gov. Jerry Brown's decision to limit his state's National Guard troops' mission at the border.

"Looks like Jerry Brown and California are not looking for safety and security along their very porous Border," the president tweeted. "He cannot come to terms for the National Guard to patrol and protect the Border. The high crime rate will only get higher. Much wanted Wall in San Diego already started!"


The Democratic governor said he would not permit National Guard troops to fully engage in immigration enforcement on the border. Such a move would run counter to Trump's plan to bolster the military presence at the border as he awaits construction of his long-promised wall.

Brown's press office responded to Trump's vitriol Tuesday morning with a tweet of its own, complete with an "eyeroll" emoji.


The Republican governors of Arizona, New Mexico and Texas are already on board with Trump's National Guard demand and have moved quickly to draw up deployment action plans.

On Tuesday, a National Security Council representative, who declined to be named, addressed the matter with a softer tone than the president's.

"The Trump Administration is committed to improving our national security by strengthening controls at our southern border," the representative told CNBC. "Until Congress acts on President Trump's common-sense solutions, the National Guard is helping to fill the gap. We remain hopeful that California will accept our help to stop the flow of drugs and gang members across the border into their communities."

The Trump administration said Monday that California had rejected the terms for troop deployment set out by the president.

"The governor determined that what we asked for is unsupportable, but we will have other iterations," said Ronald Vitiello, U.S. Customs and Border Protection's acting deputy commissioner.

A Border Patrol vehicle drives along the South Texas border.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs

Brown had said last week that he would deploy the troops but not to serve in an immigration-enforcement role.

Meanwhile, the AP reports that California National Guard spokesman Lt. Col. Thomas Keegan said "state officials have not rejected anything" since Brown proposed a formal agreement Wednesday with the Homeland Security and Defense Departments that prohibits any involvement in immigration.

"The federal government has not yet responded," Keegan told the news organization.

The White House and the California National Guard did not respond immediately to CNBC's request for comment.

Last week, Trump praised Brown's pledge to send 400 troops to the border.

"California Governor Jerry Brown is doing the right thing and sending the National Guard to the Border," Trump tweeted. "Thank you Jerry, good move for the safety of our Country!"


Outside of California, about 650 National Guard troops are working on the border mission in Texas, nearly 250 in Arizona and more than 60 in New Mexico.

Earlier this month, Trump said he wants to send as many as 4,000 National Guard troops to the border until the wall is built, but the scope, cost and duration of the plan are still largely up in the air.

Building a border wall, and having Mexico pay for it, was one of Trump's key pitches to his nationalist voter base during the 2016 campaign. But since he hasn't been able to secure the approximately $25 billion in funding he desires for the wall, Trump is instead pushing for heightened military presence at the border.

"Until we can have a wall and proper security we're going to be guarding our border with the military. That's a big step," the president has said.

U.S. officials have provided few logistical details for carrying out Trump's orders.