Trump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization

Trump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization
© Getty Images

President TrumpDonald John TrumpOklahoma City Thunder players kneel during anthem despite threat from GOP state lawmaker Microsoft moving forward with talks to buy TikTok after conversation with Trump Controversial Trump nominee placed in senior role after nomination hearing canceled MORE announced Friday evening that he was delaying a designation of Mexican drug cartels as terror organizations at the request of President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. 

“All necessary work has been completed to declare Mexican Cartels terrorist organizations. Statutorily we are ready to do so,” Trump tweeted. 

“However, at the request of a man who I like and respect, and has worked so well with us, President Andres Manuel @LopezObrador_ we will temporarily hold off this designation and step up our joint efforts to deal decisively with these vicious and ever-growing organizations!” 

Trump first announced last month that he would designate the cartels as terrorists, prompting Mexican officials to seek further talks with the U.S. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“I’ve been working on that for the last 90 days," Trump said at the time. "You know, designation is not that easy, you have to go through a process, and we're well into that process."

“The foreign minister will establish contact with his counterpart, Michael R. Pompeo, in order to discuss this very important issue for the bilateral agenda,” Mexico’s foreign ministry responded.

Trump’s November remarks followed an attack in northern Mexico that killed several U.S. citizens. Mexican organized crime groups are believed to be behind the killings.

Republicans have voiced support for designating cartels as terrorist groups in the past.

Reps. Mark GreenMark GreenHouse GOP Steering Committee selects four members for new committee positions Hillicon Valley: DOJ indicts Chinese hackers accused of targeting COVID-19 research | House votes to ban TikTok on government devices McCarthy introduces legislation to sanction foreign hackers targeting COVID-19 research MORE (R-Tenn.) and Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyRepublicans face worsening outlook in battle for House The Hill's Campaign Report: Biden builds big lead in battleground Florida Internal Democratic poll shows tight race in key Texas House district MORE (R-Texas) in February wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoGOP scrambles to fend off Kobach in Kansas primary Pompeo: Trump taking action on Chinese software firms 'in coming days' Navarro: 'Don't fall for' message from TikTok lobbyists, 'puppet CEO' MORE requesting that the U.S. label violent drug cartels as terrorist organizations. Roy also called for cartels to be designated as Foreign Terrorist Organizations in an op-ed in The Hill last month.