Representative Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas) on Friday accused Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador of lying about the presence of fentanyl in the country and of putting the drug cartels before his own people.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) said earlier this week he planned to propose legislation to designate cartels as foreign terrorist groups, setting the stage for the U.S. to use military force. López Obrador rebuked that proposal in a press conference on Thursday, saying it showed a “lack of respect for Mexico [and its] sovereignty.” He also called Republicans “hypocrites” and said fentanyl is not Mexico’s problem, but America’s.
“Here, we do not produce fentanyl, and we do not have consumption of fentanyl,” López Obrador said. “Why don’t they take care of their problem of social decay?”
Crenshaw responded to Obrador’s comments during an appearance on Fox News on Friday: “Look, I’m for the Mexican people. I’m for the American people. I’m against the cartels. I would think that the president of Mexico, ‘AMLO,’ would also be against the cartels.”
“He’s clearly not against the cartels. He’s clearly defending the cartels at the detriment of his own people,” Crenshaw added. “You know, the cartels have killed a lot of Americans, whether  through lacing drugs with fentanyl or just murdering them when they go down to get a medical appointment, but they’ve killed a lot more Mexicans.”
He went on to accuse López Obrador of telling a “flat-out lie” in claiming there’s no fentanyl dealing in Mexico. He also called the Mexican president an “outright liar.”
López Obrador also threatened this week to launch a campaign against Republicans among Mexicans and other Hispanics who live in the U.S. “We are going to issue a call not to vote for that party, because they are inhuman and interventionist,” he said.
Crenshaw responded to López Obrador’s threat, quipping that he’s “super worried about it.”
The war of words comes after members of a Mexican cartel kidnapped four Americans in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, last week. Two of the Americans and an innocent Mexican bystander were killed in a shootout.