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
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpNational Archives says it altered Trump signs, other messages in Women's March photo Dems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Democratic lawmaker dismisses GOP lawsuit threat: 'Take your letter and shove it' 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. 

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“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 GreenTrump says he will 'temporarily hold off' on declaring Mexican drug cartels as terror organization Trump says he will designate Mexican drug cartels as terror organizations House GOP criticizes impeachment drive as distracting from national security issues MORE (R-Tenn.) and Chip RoyCharles (Chip) Eugene RoyBudget watchdogs howl over deficit-ballooning deals Democrats launch bilingual ad campaign off drug pricing bill Congressional Hispanic Caucus campaign arm endorses two Texas Democrats MORE (R-Texas) in February wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoDems plan marathon prep for Senate trial, wary of Trump trying to 'game' the process Overnight Defense: Book says Trump called military leaders 'dopes and babies' | House reinvites Pompeo for Iran hearing | Dems urge Esper to reject border wall funding request House panel reinvites Pompeo to deliver Iran testimony 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.