Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump seized on the dramatic prison escape of drug lord Joaquín "El Chapo" Guzmán as evidence for his often repeated riff about crime and Mexican immigrants, crowing, via Twitter, "I told you so!"

The real estate mogul and television personality was traveling back to the East Coast on Sunday, but that didn't prevent him from sending out a barrage of tweets from his official site @realDonaldTrump about the former head of the Sinaloa Cartel.

The first pointed to the escape as a reminder of problems he was referring to when he said that many Mexican migrants bring drugs and crime to the United States. "Mexico's biggest drug lord escapes from jail. Unbelievable corruption and USA is paying the price. I told you so!" he wrote

Subsequent tweets tweaked some of his presidential rivals. "Can you envision Jeb Bush or Hillary Clinton negotiating with 'El Chapo'?" he asked.

Following it up with one that bragged, "Trump, however, would kick his ass!"

A few hours later, he was at it again, writing, "The U.S. will invite El Chapo, the Mexican drug lord who just escaped prison, to become a U.S. citizen because our 'leaders' can't say no!"

On Monday morning, Trump continued his Twitter assault. "El Chapo and the Mexican drug cartels use the border unimpeded like it was a  vacuum cleaner, sucking drugs and death right into the U.S.," he wrote.

Which was quickly followed by: "When will people, and the media, start to apologize to me for my statement, 'Mexico is sending....,' which turned out to be true?"

Some Republican leaders who hope to make inroads with Hispanic voters in the U.S. have urged him to tone down his criticism of Mexican immigrants, to no avail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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