EXCLUSIVE: Former President Donald Trump slammed President Biden as the border crisis further unravels.
In an interview with Maria Bartiromo on "Fox News Primetime", Trump said he and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador had built a "great relationship" — with a joint interest in controlling illegal immigration and constructing an efficient border wall.
"[Lopez Obrador] is a great gentleman. We had a very good relationship. They had 28,000 soldiers on our border while we were building the wall ... and they were also stopping them at their northern border by Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala," Trump said.
"Today, they are coming in. You take a look. They are coming in from foreign countries. I see they are coming in from Yemen. They are coming in from the Middle East. They are coming in from everywhere," he said. "They are dropping them off and they are pouring into our country. It is a disgrace."
"They are going to destroy our country if we don't do something about it."
Trump fumed that Biden has "eroded" the progress his administration made on the border in terms of national security and vetting asylum seekers.
"Frankly, our country can't handle [the increase in migrants]. It is a crisis like we have rarely had and certainly we have never had on the border. But it is going to get much worse."
During the interview, Bartiromo asked the former president if he would recommend his supporters voluntarily receive the coronavirus vaccine, noting that a sizeable swath of Republicans remain uneasy or opposed to getting the shot at this point.
"I would," Trump responded. "I would recommend it and I would recommend it to a lot of people that don't want to get it and a lot of those people voted for me, frankly."
"But again, we have our freedoms and we have to live by them and I agree with that also. But it is a great vaccine. It is a safe vaccine and it is something that works."
Trump said pharmaceutical companies and the Food and Drug Administration have been working "around the clock" to develop the various vaccinations.
During his interview, Trump also lambasted Biden and the Democrats over the near-$1 or more hike in gas prices since the new president's executive orders curtailing American energy production and transport.
"When I look at what is happening, we were energy independent. Gas prices are going up at a far more rapid rate than anyone has seen in a long time. We had gas prices very low and yet we had more energy jobs than we have ever had," said Trump.
Trump said that, while Biden and his party are seeking massive tax hikes, the spike in gas prices amounts to an even more onerous 'tax' in his mind.
"[T]hey will be going up by $1, $2, $3, when you look at that, and it's bigger than a tax increase to the consumer," he contended. "[If] you get a dollar increase in gasoline, that is bigger than a big tax hike. So, it's a terrible thing that is happening."
Trump predicted Democrats will raise taxes to the "highest number that we have ever seen" and that it will "devastating" for the economy.
Prior to his interview, Trump recently spoke out against the mounting crisis at the U.S.-Mexico border, where illegal immigrants and asylum seekers have overwhelmed federal authorities, while the Biden administration put a halt to the construction of the ex-president's wall.
"Our border is now totally out of control thanks to the disastrous leadership of Joe Biden. Our great Border Patrol and ICE agents have been disrespected, demeaned, and mocked by the Biden Administration," Trump said in a statement released earlier this month.
"A mass incursion into the country by people who should not be here is happening on an hourly basis, getting worse by the minute. Many have criminal records, and many others have and are spreading covid. Interior enforcement has been shut down—criminals that were once promptly removed by our Administration are now being released back onto the street to commit heinous and violent crimes.
"ICE officers are desperate to remove these convicted criminals, but Biden won’t let them," he continued.
Trump also blasted the crisis as a Biden-caused "spiraling tsunami", pointing to border communities being "overwhelmed" by illegal immigrants that remain untested for coronavirus despite stiff federal restrictions on American citizens engaging in travel and commerce.
"The Biden Administration must act immediately to end the border nightmare that they have unleashed onto our Nation. Keep illegal immigration, crime, and the China Virus out of our country!" Trump fumed in closing his remarks on March 5.
Since leaving office, Trump has relocated from New York City to Palm Beach, Florida, and has established "The Office of the Former President."
He has issued a handful of political endorsements ahead of the 2022 midterms, including for Ohio congressional hopeful Max Miller, a Republican seeking to unseat Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, R-Ohio. Gonzalez, a former Indianapolis Colts wide receiver, voted to impeach Trump in January.
He has also pledged to visit Alaska to campaign for any Republican primary challenger to Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, for similar reasons. Trump also endorsed his former press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who is running for governor of Arkansas.