Trump Says U.S. Will Designate Drug Cartels in Mexico as Terrorist Groups

“I will be designating the cartels,” Mr. Trump said in the interview. “I have been working on that for the last 90 days. You know, designation is not that easy, you have to go through a process, and we are well into that process.”

Deadly violence by drug cartels in Mexico gained new attention in the United States in recent weeks after the killing of six children and their three mothers , all dual Mexican and American citizens, who were part of a fundamentalist Mormon community in the north of the country.

After that ambush, Mr. Trump said on Twitter that the time had come “for Mexico, with the help of the United States, to wage WAR on the drug cartels and wipe them off the face of the earth.”

In the interview posted online Tuesday, Mr. Trump declined to say what measures he would consider taking once the cartels had been designated as terrorist organizations. When Mr. O’Reilly asked if drone strikes in Mexico were a possibility, the president replied, “I don’t want to say what I am going to do, but they will be designated.”

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