After photos from Sunday's border incident between United States forces and migrants drew public outcry, President Donald Trump defended the use of tear gas against migrants on the Mexico side of the border fired by United States law enforcement on the US side.
"They were being rushed by some very tough people and they used tear gas. Here's the bottom line: Nobody is coming into our country unless they come in legally."
Watch his comments outside the White House here.
Later in the day at a campaign stop in Mississippi, the President stated:
"Why is a parent running up into an area where they know the tear gas is forming and it's going to be formed and they were running up with a child?"
Trump also claimed the tear gas used was a mild form and repeated a conspiracy theory claim—without any form of proof—that women with children were "grabbers" who kidnapped children to increase their own chances of being allowed asylum.
Watch those remarks here.
But now Mexico wants answers.
Mexico's foreign ministry served a diplomatic note to the US asking for a full investigation into the firing of non-lethal weapons over the border by US law enforcement.
Tear gas is a chemical weapon banned on battlefields, but used on civilians for crowd control. It affects children more harshly than adults and can cause "long-lasting trauma" according to medical experts.
People were shocked and angered over photos from the border Sunday.
They posted their outrage on Twitter.
These children are barefoot. In diapers. Choking on tear gas. Women and children who left their lives behind -- se… https://t.co/r3SXbDyGGW— Gavin Newsom (@Gavin Newsom)1543208589.0
However, the President took to his own Twitter account to issue orders to Mexico and Congress.
Mexico should move the flag waving Migrants, many of whom are stone cold criminals, back to their countries. Do it… https://t.co/IqgnrBTQFl— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1543231181.0
Trump's tweet garnered only minimal support.
@realDonaldTrump Ignore the trolls, sir. They’re brainwashed minions, unable to recognize how they’re being manipul… https://t.co/ANHIBmoBrl— ✝️❤️ChristianCodependent❤️✝️ (@✝️❤️ChristianCodependent❤️✝️)1543304905.0
@PxulxHxhn @jccod711 @realDonaldTrump your nothing but a Democrat talking that crap. We have the right to know who… https://t.co/SqsTxQooiM— Russell Megale (@Russell Megale)1543326019.0
The majority of comments were critical of the President's response.
@realDonaldTrump You are the “President”, not the owner of the United States. You can’t demand things and expect th… https://t.co/sqNL445UaJ— ashley mitch (@ashley mitch)1543320032.0
@realDonaldTrump Criminals, huh? Like cheating on their taxes, committing fraud, conspiring with a hostile foreign… https://t.co/2EVWOmWjj4— MeyTweets (@MeyTweets)1543321152.0
@realDonaldTrump https://t.co/pA4QadIzPw— danindura (@danindura)1543325153.0
@realDonaldTrump If the cap fits you wear it, stone cold criminals? You know them personally? One thing is certain… https://t.co/dFToiqBH6s— Glenn Rose (@Glenn Rose)1543314607.0
The President was in Mississippi Monday campaigning for incumbent Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith in her run-off against Democratic challenger Mike Espy.