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Tipsheet

Trump Responds to Reports He Wanted to Shoot Missiles at Drug Cartel Factories

AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin

During a recent interview with "60 Minutes," former Defense Secretary Mark Esper claimed President Donald Trump proposed the United States take out drug cartel operations in Mexico with missiles. 

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Over the weekend, President Trump responded to the allegation with "no comment" and addressed a number of other statements Esper made. 

Mexican cartels operate industrial-sized methamphetamine and fentanyl labs south of the border and the product is then trafficked into the United States. 

"Soldiers and police in Mexico seized an industrial-scale meth and fentanyl lab that was so big it startled investigators, federal prosecutors announced Sunday," the Associated Press reported in October. "The lab had chemical preparation vats about two stories tall that could process 11,000 pounds (5,000 kilograms) of raw material at a time, said Felipe de Jesus Gallo of the federal Attorney General’s Office." 

"The mega-lab was uncovered this past week in a storefront advertising industrial cleaning products on the outskirts of Mexico City. Behind the storefront was a warehouse, with tall stacks of drums and 265-gallon (1,000 liter) tanks holding precursor chemicals, which Gallo said could be used to produce methamphetamines and the synthetic opioid fentanyl," the report continues. 

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More than 100,000 Americans are killed by fentanyl and other drug overdoses every year. 

"Provisional data from CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics indicate that there were an estimated 100,306 drug overdose deaths in the United States during 12-month period ending in April 2021, an increase of 28.5% from the 78,056 deaths during the same period the year before," CDC data shows. "The new data documents that estimated overdose deaths from opioids increased to 75,673 in the 12-month period ending in April 2021, up from 56,064 the year before. Overdose deaths from synthetic opioids (primarily fentanyl) and psychostimulants such as methamphetamine also increased in the 12-month period ending in April 2021." 

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