Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) on Thursday defended her state against Donald Trump, after a leaked transcript revealed he boasted about winning “New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den” during a phone call with Mexican President Peña Nieto.
“We have a massive drug problem where kids are becoming addicted to drugs because the drugs are being sold for less money than candy,” the president told Nieto as he criticized the Mexican president for allowing illegal drugs to flow into the United States. “I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den.”
In a series of tweets, Hassan called the president’s remarks “disgusting.”
“As he knows, NH and states across America have a substance misuse crisis,” Hassan wrote.
“To date, [Trump] has proposed policies that would severely set back our efforts to combat this devastating epidemic,” she continued. “Instead of insulting people in the throes of addiction, [Trump] needs to work across party lines to actually stem the tide of this crisis.”
.@realDonaldTrump's comments about New Hampshire are disgusting. As he knows, NH and states across America have a substance misuse crisis 1/— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@Sen. Maggie Hassan)1501767488.0
@realDonaldTrump To date, @POTUS has proposed policies that would severely set back our efforts to combat this devastating epidemic 2/— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@Sen. Maggie Hassan)1501767519.0
@realDonaldTrump @POTUS Instead of insulting people in the throes of addiction, @POTUS needs to work across party l… https://t.co/uzp6JAyWU0— Sen. Maggie Hassan (@Sen. Maggie Hassan)1501767565.0
Trump campaigned heavily on the promise to combat the opioid crisis ravaging many communities in the United States. A recent report by the Commission on Combating Drug Addiction and the Opioid Crisis found that Americans are “enduring a death toll equal to 9-11 every three weeks” from opioid overdose. The commission urged the president to declare a national emergency, a move Trump has yet to do.
Critics say the president’s current approach will do little to combat the crisis. Trump’s attorney general has signaled an escalation of the failed War on Drugs, and his administration has repeatedly pushed Obamacare replacement plans that would gut Medicaid—which funds treatment for 30 percent of the country’s addicts.