White House says El Chapo's boast to Sean Penn is 'maddening'
Drug kingpin Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman (AFP Photo/Alfredo Estrella)

Mexican drug boss Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's boast to actor Sean Penn of being the world's top supplier of illegal drugs is "maddening," a top White House official said Sunday.


Guzman, who was recaptured Friday, bragged about his exploits in an interview with Sean Penn in October while on the run.

"I will tell you this braggadocious action about how much heroin he sends around the world, including the United States, is maddening," White House chief of staff Denis McDonough said in an interview with CNN's "State of the Union."

"We see a heroin epidemic, opioid addiction epidemic in this country. We are going to stay on top of this with our Mexican counterparts until we get that back in the box.

"But El Chapo is behind bars. That's where he should stay," he added.

Guzman, 58, escaped from a Mexican maximum security prison through a tunnel in July, eluding his pursuers until his capture in the seaside town of Los Mochis after a raid that left five people dead.

Penn's interview with the Sinaloa cartel chief was published Saturday by Rolling Stone magazine, and an official in Mexico City said Mexican authorities wanted to talk to him and actress Kate del Castillo, who helped arrange the meeting.

"It poses a lot of interesting questions for him and others involved in this so-called interview. We'll see what happens," McDonough said.