House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, R-Ky., on Tuesday said it was “a mistake” that then-President Donald Trump did not bomb meth labs in Mexico after he had reportedly asked his defense secretary about the possibility in 2020.
“One of the things we learned post-Trump presidency is that he had ordered a bombing of a couple of fentanyl labs, crystal meth labs, in Mexico, just across the border, and for whatever reason the military didn’t do it,” Comer said on “Fox and Friends” on Tuesday. “I think that was a mistake.”
In his book, “A Sacred Oath,” published last year, former Trump Defense Secretary Mark Esper alleged that Trump in 2020 asked him about the possibility of launching missiles into Mexico to “destroy the drug labs” and wipe out the cartels, The New York Times reported. The then-president maintained that the United States’ involvement in a strike against Mexico could be kept secret, Esper alleged.
Esper reportedly said Trump floated the idea during the summer of 2020, when he was unhappy about drug trafficking across the southern border.
Trump did not return NBC News' request for comment when the revelations in Esper's book were reported. He refused to comment on the matter in a statement to CBS's "60 Minutes" last May. NBC News did not independently confirm Esper's account in the book, which the Times reported had undergone a standard Pentagon security clearance process. The Times also reported that Esper had sent his writing to generals, Cabinet members and others with an eye toward accuracy and fairness.
Comer’s remarks come as Republicans have accused President Joe Biden of taking a lax approach to migrants and the trafficking of drugs, such as fentanyl, through the southern border. The Biden administration is considering restarting the controversial policy that detains migrants who enter the country illegally with their children, NBC News reported Monday. President Joe Biden stopped the policy, known as family detention, shortly after he took office.
Comer aired his grievances with the U.S. handling of border security during his appearance on Fox News.
“One of the things that the Oversight Committee has learned about the Mexican government during its investigation on border security is that they meet with these drug cartels the way that the United States meets with the Chamber of Commerce or labor unions,” Comer said. “This is wrong, and the U.S. needs to completely reverse its policy against Mexico and take a firm stance against all the crimes being committed in Mexico.”
The Oversight Committee is scheduled to hold a hearing Wednesday titled, “Force Multipliers: Examining the Need for Additional Resources to Disrupt Transnational Crime at the Border and Beyond.”