Trump said in 2011 that he'd put soldiers on the Mexico border

Story highlights

  • "You put soldiers on that line," said Trump in 2011.
  • In a phone conversation last Friday with Mexican President Peña Nieto, President Trump offered to help Mexico with drug cartels.

(CNN)In an April 2011 interview, President Donald Trump said he'd put the American military on the border to stop illegal immigration.

Trump, who was contemplating a presidential run at the time, made the comments to Fox News' Bill O'Reilly.
"Well, you either have a country or you don't," Trump said when asked about stopping illegal immigration. "You either have a line and boundary or you don't. Something has to be done."
    Asked how he would stop it, Trump said he would put American soldiers along the border.
    "You put soldiers on that line," said Trump.
    "You militarize it?" asked O'Reilly.
    "Do you have a choice?" responded Trump. "They are coming over and they are -- they are climbing over a fence and there's nobody within 10 miles. And they walk -- they get a job and they are selling drugs all over the place and they are killing people all over the place. We're not doing anything about it."
    In a phone conversation last Friday with Mexican President Peña Nieto, President Trump offered to help Mexico with drug cartels.
    "You have some pretty tough hombres in Mexico that you may need help with," Trump said, according to a portion of the transcript of the call obtained by CNN. "We are willing to help with that big-league, but they have to be knocked out and you have not done a good job knocking them out."
    An earlier Associated Press report said Trump threatened to send U.S. troops to stop drug cartels in Mexico, but sources told CNN that report was based on an internal readout written by aides and not based on the transcript of the call. Both the U.S. and Mexican government denied that Trump made the threat.