A transcript from President Donald Trump’s phone call with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto from January leaked, revealing that Trump told Nieto that he “won New Hampshire because New Hampshire is a drug-infested den.” But did Trump really win New Hampshire or was the president making this up? Although Trump did lose the Granite State to Hillary Clinton in November, he won the state’s Republican primary easily, establishing himself as a serious candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination.
Although Trump’s phone call with Nieto was over seven months ago, the transcript didn’t leak until August 3. The Washington Post obtained a copy from a source, but the calls haven’t been declassified yet.
As data from The Green Papers shows, Trump won the February 9, 2016 primary with 100,735 votes, or 35.2 percent. Ohio Governor John Kasich came in a distant second, with 44,932 votes. As a result of his win, Trump picked up 11 delegates on his way to clinching the nomination.
In November, New Hampshire was considered a battleground state, even though it only has four electoral votes. Trump even campaigned in the state just a day before the election. However, Trump lost New Hampshire in a very close race with Clinton. She received 348,521 votes, while Trump picked up 345,789. He lost by 0.4 percent.
Trump likely referred to New Hampshire as a “drug-infested den” because the state is one of the worst hit by the opioid and fentanyl addiction epidoemic. According to a March report by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, there were 478 deaths in New Hampshire from drug overdoses in 2016, 22 more than in 2015. Of those deaths, 456 have been confirmed to be caused by fentanyl or fentanyl combined with another opiate.
Manchester, where Trump held his rally the day before the election, has become a “ground zero” for the state’s epidemic, US News reports. The state ranks No. 1 for fentanyl-related deaths per capita. Only West Virginia has seen more opioid-related deaths than New Hampshire.
A report backed by the National Institute of Drug Abuse showed that fentanyl-related deaths jumped by 1,629 percent between 2010 and 2015.
As Narconon.org explains, fentanyl is a strong opiate drug meant to help patients recovering from surgery. Doctors typically use it her patients who are already taking an opiate to relieve pain, but need a stronger medication. The drug is cheaper than heroin and also popular because it’s easier to transport.