Politics

Trump claims Mexican soldiers 'probably' used armed confrontation with US troops as a diversion for drug smugglers

Key Points
  • President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that Mexican soldiers "recently pulled guns" on American troops near the southern border, and accused the soldiers of "probably" doing so as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers.
  • "Better not happen again! We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border," the president wrote in a post on Twitter. "Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!" 
  • The confrontation between Mexican soldiers and U.S. troops happened April 13 on American territory.
  • It was first made public by Newsweek, which reported that Mexican soldiers detained and searched the Americans briefly at gunpoint, thinking they were still in Mexico after they mistakenly crossed into the United States. 
A Mexican soldier stands guard in front of the border wall with the United States, outside of a sports centre used as a temporary shelter used for migrants in Tijuana, Mexico, November 21, 2018.
Hannah McKay | Reuters

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said that Mexican soldiers "recently pulled guns" on American troops near the southern border, and accused the soldiers of "probably" doing so as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers.

"Better not happen again! We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border," Trump wrote in a post on Twitter. "Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!"

The confrontation between Mexican soldiers and U.S. troops happened April 13 on American territory. It was first made public by Newsweek, which reported that Mexican soldiers detained and searched the Americans briefly at gunpoint, thinking they were still in Mexico after mistakenly crossing into the United States.

In a press release issued Wednesday, Mexico's foreign affairs ministry wrote that the incident was not out of the ordinary. Both governments, it said, were in contact throughout the situation. 

"After a brief discussion between the soldiers from the two nations, the Mexican military members departed the area," a spokesperson for the Pentagon told the outlet. "The U.S. soldiers immediately contacted CBP, who responded quickly. Throughout the incident, the U.S. soldiers followed all established procedures and protocols."

VIDEO4:1504:15
President Trump: Mexico apprehending thousands of people

Trump last year deployed several thousand American troops to the border to assist in putting up razor wire as part of his administration's push to reduce immigration into the United States. The Pentagon recently extended that deployment, which Trump has said could involve as many as 15,000 troops, through September.

It was not immediately clear whether the president's tweet meant that more troops will be deployed or if their mission will change. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.