MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s president said Wednesday he opposes the criminal charges filed against former U.S. President Donald Trump, suggesting they were brought for political reasons during an electoral campaign.
President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said the charges filed in New York against Trump, who is campaigning to regain the presidency in the 2024 election, represented “the degradation of due respect for the law.”
“I don’t agree with what they are doing to former President Trump,” López Obrador said at his morning news briefing. “I do not know if crimes were committed, it’s not my place.”
“Supposedly legal, judicial issues should not be used for political, electoral purposes,” he said. “Don’t make up crimes to affect adversaries.”
López Obrador had a strangely warm relationship with Trump in 2019 and 2020, despite the former U.S. president’s frequent criticisms of Mexico and migrants, and his plans to build a wall between the two countries.
In fact, López Obrador had fewer public disagreements with Trump than with current President Joe Biden.
Analysts say Trump and López Obrador share an essentially transactional view of politics, in which making a deal and sticking to it is highly valued.
Once López Obrador agreed to help retain migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border, Trump also largely refrained from commenting on issues like corruption, trade disputes and human rights in Mexico, areas where López Obrador is notoriously sensitive to outside criticism.
Trump pleaded not guilty Tuesday to 34 felony counts related to hush money payments made during the 2016 campaign.