Ruffled New Hampshire lawmakers were quick to respond Thursday to derisive leaked comments in which President Trump referred to the Granite State as a “drug-infested den.”
Trump made the comments during a heated Jan. 27 phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, in which he fumed over drug cartels bringing illegal substances over the border. He invoked New Hampshire as an example of a place that has endured the brutal effects of the opioid epidemic, calling it a “drug-infested den,” according to a newly released transcript of the conversation published by the Washington Post.
According to a report from the Department of Homeland Security, Mexican drug cartels make $19 to $29 billion from U.S. drug sales per year. Still, experts say the opioid epidemic is also in large part due to overprescribing of legal opioid medication.
“We have a massive drug problem where kids are becoming addicted to drugs because the drugs are being sold for less money than candy,” the president said in the call, according to the transcript. “I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den.”
Trump in fact lost New Hampshire to Hillary Clinton in the presidential election. He won the state in the Republican primary.
Both New Hampshire senators were quick to respond to the comments. Trump “owes NH an apology & then should follow through on his promise to Granite Staters to help end this crisis,” Sen. Jeanne Shaheen tweeted after the transcript was published. “It’s absolutely unacceptable for the President to be talking about NH in this way — a gross misrepresentation of NH & the epidemic.”
Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., tweeted that Trump’s comments were “disgusting.”
“As he knows, NH and states across America have a substance misuse crisis,” Hassan tweeted. “To date, [Trump] has proposed policies that would severely set back our efforts to combat this devastating epidemic. Instead of insulting people in the throes of addiction, [Trump] needs to work across party lines to actually stem the tide of this crisis.”
Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-N.H., also weighed in and didn’t mince words:
“No, Mr. President, you’re wrong about New Hampshire, but you have failed to help us fight the opioid crisis,” Shea-Porter wrote in a Facebook post Thursday….