Donald Trump delivered a pseudo-presidential address calling for military action against Mexican drug cartels and hinted he should be returned to the White House before the 2024 election.
The former commander in chief issued a video that bore all the trappings of a presidential address, except he's not actually president and he's speaking not from the White House but in a paneled room at his Florida estate.
"When I am president it will be the policy of our nation to take down the cartels, just as we took down ISIS and the ISIS caliphate," Trump said, rocking back and forth on his heels. "Unlike the situation where we are today, we had a very, very strong border -- the strongest border, in fact, in the history of our country -- and drugs were at a low of 45 years. There's been nothing like what we did just two years ago."
"We will show no mercy on the cartels," he added.
The twice-impeached former president vowed to authorize military force, including the U.S. Navy, to stop foreign cartels from smuggling fentanyl and other drugs into the country, and he recited a litany of inaccurate, misleading and incendiary claims to justify the actions.
"We will guarantee that the waters of the Western Hemisphere are not used to traffic illicit drugs to our country," Trump said. "Furthermore, I will order the Department of Defense to make appropriate use of special forces, cyber warfare and other overt and covert actions to inflict maximum damage on cartel leadership, infrastructure and operations. I will designate the major cartels as foreign terrorist organizations. We will sever their access to global financial systems."
After laying out his military strategy and raising the stakes to an existential crisis, Trump suggested the threat was too great to wait two years for the inauguration of another president.
"We have to take over, we have to be tough, we have to be smart, we have to be fair," he concluded, "but if we don't do something immediately, our country is gone."