There’s backlash in New Hampshire to comments made by President Donald Trump.
According to a transcript obtained by the Washington Post – President Trump told Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in a January phone call, “I won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den.”
The president raised the issue of New Hampshire as he pressed Mexico’s president to pay for his border wall.
NBC Boston spoke with people trying to recover from addiction and they say the president’s words are not only judgmental, but incredibly hurtful.
“I am appalled,” said Suzanne Wallack. “I am really appalled.”
After being addicted to opiates for two years, Wallack is trying desperately to rebuild her life, but now she’s convinced even our president is rooting against her.
“It’s heartbreaking,” she said. “That’s offensive. He’s rude, and he doesn’t know what he is talking about.”
But Trump’s former campaign advisor Al Baldasaro says the state’s 500 fatal overdoses last year alone are proof what the president said was 100 percent true.
“We do have a drug problem in New Hampshire and Donald Trump said it like it is,” Baldasaro told NBC Boston Thursday.
New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu took a stand against his fellow republican, saying in part, “The president is wrong. It’s disappointing his mischaracterization of this epidemic ignores the great things this state has to offer.”
But Baldasaro says Trump wasn’t insulting the Granite State. He says the President was making it clear – New Hampshire is battling a drug crisis and his promise to fix it likely won him some votes.
“He was one of the only candidates speaking about our drug issues and it went right to the heart of the people,” Baldasaro explained.
Meanwhile, the state’s all-democratic delegation took to social media to condemn Trump’s statement.
Senator Maggie Hassan called it, “disgusting.”
Senator Jeanne Shaheen said it was a “gross misrepresentation of New Hampshire and the epidemic.”
Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter said, “No, Mr. President, you’re wrong about New Hampshire.”
And Congresswoman Annie Kuster said, “I’m appalled.”
President Trump must have been referring to his win in the First in the Nation Primary, because he lost to Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire during the general election.
Click here for the full transcripts released by the Washington Post.