Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has called on the FBI to investigate threats against him on Twitter by Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, who escaped from prison over the weekend.
On the Twitter account administered by Guzman’s son Ivan, the escapee wrote a threat in Spanish.
A Trump aide said in a statement: “The FBI is fully aware of the situation and is actively investigating this threat against Mr. Trump.”
An FBI spokesman said the agency had no statement on the issue. “Standard practice is to neither confirm nor deny FBI investigations,” he said.
The New York Post reported that the tweet was sent by Guzman’s son rather than Guzman, the billionaire head of the powerful Sinaloa Cartel.
But the Mail disclosed that the tweeter also took aim at Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto: “And you @EPN, don’t call me a delinquent because I give people work unlike you you cowardly politician.”
He also wrote: “There’s no jail time for such a big midget.” El Chapo means midget or shorty in Spanish — Guzman stands just 5-foot-6.
Four Mexican government officials told Reuters they could not say whether the account, as well as several others in the name of some of Guzman’s children that were linked to it, were genuine.
“I am told they are apocryphal,” said Mexican Deputy Interior Minister Roberto Campa.
Guzman, who escaped from a maximum-security prison through a tunnel, ran the powerful Sinaloa cartel after an earlier prison breakout in 2001 until he was arrested last year.
The cartel has smuggled billions of dollars worth of cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamines into the United States.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Guzman posed a threat to public safety in the United States, and that Washington has “made quite clear to the Mexicans our interest in ensuring that he faces justice here in the United States.”
Guzman’s Twitter attack was an apparent response to Trump’s Twitter post on Sunday about Guzman’s escape: “Can you envision Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton negotiating with ‘El Chapo,’ the Mexican drug lord who escaped from prison? Trump, however, would kick…”
Trump posted several other rants on Twitter over the El Chapo escape: In a statement to the media, Trump blasted “corrupt Mexican officials” for letting Guzman escape from the maximum security prison.
He added: “I respect Mexico. They can’t help it if our politicians are so incompetent that things like this can continually take place.”
Earlier on Friday, Trump had told a gathering that the U.S. made a mistake invading Iraq and “instead we should have invaded Mexico” — to rousing applause.
Guzman escaped from the prison 50 miles outside Mexico City by riding a motorcycle through a mile-long tunnel that was connected to the shower area of his cell, 16 months after he was captured. It is his second escape from a Mexican prison, and he faces federal drug trafficking charges in the U.S.
Guzman hinted on Twitter that authorities were complicit in his escape, according to the Mail. He wrote: “The dog (slang for the Mexican government) dances for money, and I’ve bought it.”
Despite the reported threats, Trump said he is not backing down: “I’m fighting for the future of our country which is being overrun by criminals. You can’t be intimidated. This is too important.”