President Trump took to Twitter on Thursday red hot about a situation which occurred at the southern border. According to the president’s account, Mexican soldiers across the border “pulled guns” on the U.S. National Guard troops stationed there.
The gesture was used “probably as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border,” Trump theorized before threatening, “Better not happen again!”
“We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border. Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!” the U.S. president continued in the tweet.
The Washington Post has more on the situation:
The tweet comes after an incident on April 13 in which two active-duty U.S. soldiers involved in the Defense Department’s mission to provide camera surveillance at the border were briefly detained and disarmed on U.S. soil, U.S. military officials said.
Navy Capt. Pamela Kunze, a U.S. military spokeswoman, said in an email that five to six Mexican military members approached and questioned the U.S. soldiers, who were conducting border support operations near Clint, Tex., in an unmarked vehicle owned by Customs and Border Protection.
“An inquiry by CBP and DOD revealed that the Mexican military members mistakenly believed the U.S. Army soldiers were south of the border with Mexico,” Kunze wrote. “However, the U.S. soldiers were appropriately in U.S. territory. Though they were south of the border fence, U.S. soldiers remained in U.S. territory, north of the actual border.”
The Mexican military departed the area after “a brief discussion between the soldiers from the two nations,” she said.
“We believe this brief exchange was a misunderstanding concerning the location of the unmarked U.S. surveillance vehicle and an honest mistake by the Mexican soldiers,” Kunze said. “The Mexican military has been and continues to be a great partner with the United States military.”
In another tweet, Trump commended the efforts of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials and said Democrats in the House should act to pass meaningful immigration laws.
“Can anyone comprehend what a GREAT job Border Patrol and Law Enforcement is doing on our Southern Border,” Trump asked. “So far this year they have APPREHENDED 418,000 plus illegal immigrants, way up from last year.”
“Mexico is doing very little for us,” the president continued. “DEMS IN CONGRESS MUST ACT NOW!”
Trump also reiterated a previous threat to close portions of the southern border amid a looming 20,000-strong migrant caravan.
“A very big Caravan of over 20,000 people started up through Mexico. It has been reduced in size by Mexico but is still coming,” Trump tweeted. “Mexico must apprehend the remainder or we will be forced to close that section of the Border & call up the Military. The Coyotes & Cartels have weapons!”
ABC News adds:
There are currently 3,900 active duty forces and 2,100 National Guardsmen serving on the southern border in separate missions, supporting Customs and Border Protection. The troops largely provide additional logistical support to the border mission and do not serve to purport a defensive posture. U.S. troops at the border are not involved in detention operations.
The president’s mention of more troops heading to the border is likely in reference to a request the Department of Defense is expecting from the Department of Homeland Security, which oversees CBP. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan earlier this month told reporters at the Pentagon that U.S. military support at the border was “elastic” and “it shouldn’t come as a surprise that we would provide more support to the border.”