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 TrumpIllinois governor says state has gotten 10 percent of medical equipments it's requested Biden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll Tesla offers ventilators free of cost to hospitals, Musk says 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 GreenBlunting a global pandemic: An open memo to the new head of USAID Trump designates new acting head of USAID The risk of fracture: Coronavirus in the Middle East MORE (R-Tenn.) and Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyThe Hill's 12:30 Report: House to vote on .2T stimulus after mad dash to Washington Conservative lawmakers tell Trump to 'back off' attacks on GOP colleague Lawmakers ask Trump administration to help Gulf oil and gas producers MORE (R-Texas) in February wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSusan Rice scolds Pompeo for using 'Wuhan virus' term Overnight Defense: Aircraft carrier captain pleads for help with outbreak | Pentagon shipment of ventilators delayed | Pompeo urges countries to be more 'transparent' with virus data US tells Maduro, Guaidó to 'step aside' in Venezuela 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.