Donald Trump on Sunday claimed that the escape of a Mexican drug lord by "corrupt Mexican officials" just raised fears in America. But he was quickly shot down by Rupert Murdoch, the conservative media baron whose blessings could make or break a GOP hopeful.
"Corrupt Mexican officials obviously let him go a second time. The last time he was free for 13 years. He has been selling drugs in the U.S. big time -- a major kingpin," Trump said in a statement.
This is the second time Joaquin Guzman, the leader of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, has escaped a maximum security prison; he spent 13 years on the run after his 2001 escape before being recaptured in February 2014. Also known as "El Chapo," Guzman disappeared underneath the Mexico City prison through an elaborate 1,600-yard tunnel dug under his shower cell, Mexico’s top security official said.
"He is possibly in the U.S. and his drugs and drug dealers freely cross into the United States through our pathetic border," Trump added. "This is just one example of the many instances of Mexico taking advantage of the United States. They take our country's money but leave the tremendous crime, much of which is a result of the rampant drug trafficking."
While Trump is currently surging as the frontrunner among GOP presidential candidates, there's one vote he likely won't be getting: Media tycoon and Australia native Rupert Murdoch, who quickly took to Twitter to blast Trump's claims.
"Mexican immigrants, as with all immigrants, have much lower crime rates than native born. Eg El Paso safest city in U.S. Trump wrong," Murdoch tweeted. The media mogul has stayed mum on the growing GOP field; the last he weighed in on the candidates was in January when he deemed Mitt Romney a "terrible candidate" and questioned Sen. Ted Cruz's "political judgement." At the time, he showed vague support for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Rand Paul.
Trump has continued to defend his controversial remarks in which he called some Mexican immigrants “rapists” during his presidential announcement last month.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best,” he said during the speech. “They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they’re telling us what we’re getting.”
Despite several major organizations breaking ties with Trump -- and facing heat from Democrats and Republicans alike -- the candidate has not backed down. And the new hunt for ‘El Chapo’ has seemed to only fuel the fire.
"I respect Mexico. They can't help it if our politicians are so incompetent that things like this can continually take place. If elected President I will stop this and all other countries from abusing OUR country," Trump added in his statement.
Trump said last month that if elected president he would force the people of Mexico to build a border wall to keep immigrants out of the United States.
"You force them because we give them a fortune. Mexico makes a fortune because of us. A wall is a tiny little peanut compared to that. I would do something very severe unless they contributed or gave us the money to build the wall," he said.