(CNSNews.com) – The White House refused to say Tuesday whether President Biden would consider using the U.S. military to disrupt cartel operations in Mexico.
This comes as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) plans to unveil legislation on Wednesday to designate Mexican cartels as foreign terrorist organizations and to authorize the use of military force against them.
During an appearance on Fox News’ “Jesse Waters Primetime” on Monday, the senator said that if he were president, he would tell the Mexican government, “if you don’t clean up your act, we’re going to clean it up for you.”
When asked Wednesday whether President Biden would ever consider using the U.S. military to disrupt cartel operations, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said, “I’m just not going to get into the military and how it’s being used.”
Fox News White House Correspondent Peter Doocy asked, “So cartels kill Americans on this side of the border with drugs, and now they’re killing Americans on the other side of the border with guns. Why is President Biden so comfortable with cartels operating so close to the U.S.?”
JEAN-PIERRE: Well, let’s be very clear. Let me take on the drug part here because — since you brought this up. Because of the work that this president has done, because of what we’ve done specifically on fentanyl at the border, it’s at historic lows — historic levels that we have been able to record a number of personnel working to secure the border because of what we’ve been able to do, seizing that fentanyl.
We’ve done it in a historic way. That’s because of what this president has done. I just talked about 23,000 federal agents that have been able to be — that we’ve been able to hire and put at the border to secure the border.
On top of that, historic sanctions going after traffickers and other financiers are helping disrupt fentanyl supply chains throughout their flow to the U.S., and we’ll — we — we’re really expanded access to treatments like — that are saving lives, if you think about it, which prevent overdoses, expanding as — as are fentanyl test strips, and through the removal of the X-Waiver, anyone registered to prescribe controlled medications can now prescribe life-saving medication to treat addiction.
So, again, we are seizing fentanyl at record historic levels because of what the — because of the — of what the president has done to secure our border, and, look, we’ve also coordinated — made sure that we’re coordinated our — our relationship with Mexico to deal with what we’re seeing as it relates to violence, as relates to cartel.
That is something — a relationship that we’ve continued to build with Mexico, an incredibly important partner. You saw that when he went down for the summit in Mexico City. So, the president is dedicated to this and is doing the work that we’re actually seeing at the border, again, when you — we think about fentanyl.
DOOCY: But to the violence aspect of it: Now Americans are being slaughtered. Would President Biden be taking the same approach if it was al Qaeda or ISIS operating just across the border from an American city?
JEAN-PIERRE: The president takes this very seriously. He takes this very seriously. The FBI and other agencies have been on top of this from day one, and so that’s what he’s going to continue to do. When it comes to Americans’ lives and when it comes to their — the safety of Americans, the president is always going to make sure that that is a top priority.
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