U.S.

Tillerson, Not Trump, Thanks Mexico For Offer Of Help For Hurricane Harvey Victims

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President Donald Trump wrote a puzzling tweet claiming the U.S. had been paying "extortion money" to North Korea for 25 years. Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has thanked Mexico for its offer of relief for the victims of flooding caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Tillerson did not say whether the U.S. would be taking Mexico up on its offer of help, but he has said more on the matter than President Trump, who has not yet commented on Mexico’s offer.

Speaking ahead of a pre-planned meeting with Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray Caso, Tillerson said Mexico had “offered a wide range of assistance.”

He added in comments carried by The Washington Post: “It's very generous of Mexico to offer to help at this very, very challenging time for our citizens down in Texas.”

At least 30 people are believed to have died in the flooding that followed Harvey, with thousands of people displaced from their homes and others trapped by rising floodwater.

Mexico has previously helped the U.S. following natural disasters, including in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Offering assistance this weekend, Mexico’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement: “The Mexican government takes this opportunity to express its full solidarity with the people and government of the United States as a result of the damages caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas, and expresses that it has offered to provide help and cooperation to the U.S. government in order to deal with the impact of this natural disaster—as good neighbors should always do in trying times.”

Mexico’s offer came following several messages on Twitter from Trump criticizing the country and discussing the border wall.

“With Mexico being one of the highest crime Nations in the world, we must have THE WALL. Mexico will pay for it through reimbursement/other,” Trump wrote, adding: “We are in the NAFTA (worst trade deal ever made) renegotiation process with Mexico & Canada. Both being very difficult, may have to terminate?”

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