President Donald Trump is lying with his claim that women were being raped "at levels that nobody has ever seen before" while traveling in a caravan of migrants heading through Mexico to seek asylum in the United States, former Mexican President Vicente Fox, a frequent critic of Trump's, said Friday.
"He lies, lies, lies again to the American people," Fox told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" about the migrant caravan, which he described as being nothing new. "Tell the truth to your people. Don't lie to them every day. That's not fair."
He also said the "so-called caravan" happens every year, and that Mexico is effective at sending many of those traveling from Central America back to their own countries.
"As a matter of fact, close to 500,000 Central Americans cross the border into Mexico and 400,000 of them are sent back," said Fox. "Another 100,000 get into Mexico or around there and they decide to come to the states."
Mexico's law enforcement forces are "doing their jobs, sending the people back to their homes with compassion, human attitude, not with a stick," he added. "So, this caravan happens every year. Now, he lied about the rapist level there."
Meanwhile, Fox said there is a growing concern that Trump's statements about Mexico and the Mexican people is "creating a backlash against candidates who are pro-free market, who want to be allies with the United States, want to continue the policies that you began in your presidency that is actually seen and ushered in a generation of economic growth in Mexico."
He commended Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto for speaking "strong" back to Trump.
In a video released through the Pena Nieto's Twitter page, the Mexican leader said he'll act in the best interest of his people, and he would not engage with Trump's "negative rhetoric."
"If your latest statements are derived from internal political frustrations, your country's laws, or your congress, direct [your frustration] at them, not at the Mexican people," he said in the video, the Washington Examiner reported.
"We will not allow negative rhetoric to define our actions. We will only act in the best interest of the Mexican peoples."
The Mexican Senate also on Thursday slammed Trump's call to put the National Guard at the nation's border with the United States.
Fox also warned farmers in the United States to beware of Trump's calls on NAFTA.
"Mexico buys from you every year over $40 billion worth of corn and now we went down south to buy that corn from Argentina, from Brazil, so you're going to be hurt," said Fox.
He also warned that prices on produce shipped in from Mexico, such as avocados and vegetables are going to go up, and that the costs for cars will skyrocket because of Trump's call for a tariff on foreign steel.
"The prices of automobiles through the steel tariff that he booked are going to cost you much more than what you're paying," said Fox. "Now is that fair? This guy is wealthy. He can buy cars with 40 percent more cost, but you are not, so you need to stop him on what is going on. "
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