The United States military had to step in after Trump started spouting baseless conspiracy theories and threats against Mexico.
After Trump unleashed a wild conspiracy theory on Twitter Wednesday about Mexican soldiers and U.S. troops at the border, the U.S. had to clarify Wednesday that Trump was wrong and the interaction was nothing more than a "misunderstanding."
Trump alleged, without any proof, that "Mexico's Soldiers recently pulled guns on our National Guard Soldiers, probably as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border." He then warned Mexico that it "Better not happen again!" and that the U.S. is sending armed soldiers to the border.
Trump's rant has nothing to do with what really happened, according to Navy Capt. Pamela Kunze, a U.S. military spokesperson.
First of all, the U.S. military personnel involved were U.S. Army soldiers, not members of the National Guard.
Mexican soldiers "mistakenly believed the U.S. Army soldiers were south of the border with Mexico," Kunze said. The U.S. troops were south of the border wall, but still on U.S. soil in an unmarked Customs and Border Patrol vehicle. After a brief conversation between the soldiers from the two countries, the Mexican soldiers departed.
"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," she added.
The outlandish conspiracy theory, which has no basis in fact, originated from a conversation on Sunday's "Fox & Friends" television program, according to the Washington Post. On the program, Brandon Judd, national president of a union for Border Patrol agents, made the unfounded accusation that "it is believed that Mexican military is performing diversion tactics for criminal cartels in order for them to smuggle drugs or high-value contraband into the United States."
Kunze added that the soldiers did nothing wrong, followed protocols and "successfully de-escalated the situation."
Trump, as commander in chief of the U.S. military, certainly could have been briefed on the incident if he were truly concerned about it. Instead, as he so often does, he relied on the "reporting" from Fox News to amplify a baseless and inflammatory conspiracy theory and threaten a close American ally.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.