President Trump threatened in to send US troops to stop "bad hombres" in Mexico unless American neighbour did more to control them itself. This stunning allegation has been made by The Associated Press in an excerpt of a transcript of the conversation between US President Donald Trump and Mexican President Enrique Pena Neito.
The excerpt of the call did not make clear who exactly Trump considered "bad hombres" - drug cartels, immigrants, or both - or the tone and context of the remark, made in a Friday morning phone call between the leaders. It also did not contain Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto's response.
The White House press office did not respond to requests for comment.
The phone call between the leaders was intended to patch things up between the new president and his ally. The two have had a series of public spats over Trump's determination to have Mexico pay for the planned border wall, something Mexico steadfastly refuses to agree to.
"You have a bunch of bad hombres down there," Trump told Pena Nieto, according to the excerpt. "You aren't doing enough to stop them. I think your military is scared. Our military isn't, so I just might send them down to take care of it."
The Mexican website, Aristegui Noticias, on Tuesday published a similar account of phone call, based on the reporting of journalist Dolia Estevez. The report described Trump as humiliating Pena Nieto in a confrontational conversation.
Mexico's foreign relations department denied that account, saying it "is based on absolute falsehoods," and later said the statement also applied to the aforesaid excerpts. "The assertions that you make about said conversation do not correspond to the reality of it," the statement said. "The tone was constructive and it was agreed by the presidents to continue working and that the teams will continue to meet frequently to construct an agreement that is positive for Mexico and for the United States."