'Vulgar and racist': Mexican ambassador slams GOP senator over comments in hearing.

The Mexican ambassador to the United States criticized Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., over comments he made at a hearing last week, calling the lawmaker’s words “vulgar and racist.”

Kennedy questioned Drug Enforcement Administration Administrator Anne Milgram at the hearing, asking about fentanyl moved into the United States from Mexico. The lawmaker spoke about the size of the countries’ economies and the U.S. buying goods from Mexico

“Without the people of America, Mexico, figuratively speaking, would be eating cat food out of a can and living in a tent behind an Outback,” Kennedy said.

The Embassy of Mexico in the U.S. shared a two-page letter that Ambassador Esteban Moctezuma wrote to Kennedy, dated Thursday.

“As I was listening, my initial reaction was to answer you in the same low, uninformed, and arrogant tone as the one you used. But it is always better to use your brain instead of your guts, so I recalled the vibrant relationship that exists between Mexico and the United States,” the ambassador wrote.

“I thought of the 33 million American tourists who, last year, visited Mexico eager to learn about our culture; the 800 billion dollars of trade between our two countries came to mind; and of course, the delicious Mexican food that most Americans consume in thousands of crowded restaurants.”

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The ambassador added that he doesn’t “think the people of Louisiana feel represented by the vulgar and racist words you use.”

“Mr. Senator, it is not through offenses and threats that constructive collaboration between allied nations such as the US and Mexico can be achieved.”

USA TODAY has reached out to Kennedy’s office for comment.

Kennedy called Mexico a “friend” of the U.S. in the hearing but said President Andrés Manuel López Obrador “has criminal organizations that are killing our people.”

López Obrador has denied that drug cartels make fentanyl in Mexico, though he has said some chemicals and finished fentanyl are smuggled into Mexico from China. China has denied the claim.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, has caused about 70,000 overdose deaths a year in the U.S.

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