New Hampshire's women senators take down Trump for calling their state 'drug-infested den'


Recently released transcripts of Donald Trump's first phone call with the president of Mexico revealed a hateful attitude toward one of his own states. But the Democratic senators from New Hampshire did not let his comments go unanswered.

In January, during his first phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Donald Trump had a lot to say about his proposed border wall, his intention to make Mexico foot the bill for it, and his annoyance with Peña Nieto for saying publicly that they would not.

The conversation certainly did nothing to help the strained relationship between Trump and Mexico. But newly released transcripts of the call also show that Trump didn't limit his bluster to a foreign country.

As the Washington Post reports, Trump and Peña Nieto also discussed the drug trade between the two countries — specifically the "flow of illegal drugs" from Mexico into the United States.

Trump told Peña Nieto that the U.S. has "a massive drug problem where kids are becoming addicted to drugs because the drugs are being sold for less money than candy."

And in typical pompous fashion, Trump declared that Mexico needed U.S. military support to defeat drug cartels — whom he referred to as "pretty tough hombres," in an embarrassing call-back — insisting that "maybe your military is afraid of them, but our military is not."

But Trump also offered a blatant and callous insult to one of his own states.

"I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den," Trump declared.

It is not clear whether Trump meant that he won the state because New Hampshire voters trusted him to handle their drug crisis more than they trusted Hillary Clinton, or if he meant that people in the first-in-the-nation primary state chose him because they were on drugs.

But no matter the intention, the comment was repugnant and incredibly unpresidential. And New Hampshire Democratic Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen responded immediately in defense of their state.

On her Facebook page, Hassan — who also served as governor of New Hampshire from 2013 until her swearing-in as senator — called Trump's comments "disgusting," and blasted him for insulting her state rather than trying to help them.

As [Trump] knows, NH and states across America have a substance misuse crisis. To date, the President has proposed policies that would severely set back our efforts to combat this devastating epidemic. Instead of insulting people in the throes of addiction, the President needs to work across party lines to actually stem the tide of this crisis.

Hassan is right: The health care repeal plan championed by Trump and the Republican Party would implement severe cuts to drug abuse treatment services by ending the federal government's 90 percent cost-sharing for Medicaid expansion put in place by Obamacare.

Indeed, experts on opioid abuse and addiction have labeled the GOP's health care repeal plan as a "death sentence." Trump also announced plans to all but demolish the Office of National Drug Control Policy by drastically cutting its funding.

On Twitter, Shaheen also rebuked Trump for his comments and his lack of action:

If Trump were truly concerned about the plight of the millions of Americans affected by the opioid crisis, he would do well to build up programs and services to fight the epidemic, not tear them down.

And he could offer assistance and support to lawmakers in his country, rather than insult them behind their backs to a foreign leader.