“Actually two days ago we closed the border,” Trump said at Mar-a-Lago during a meeting with journalists. “We actually just closed it. We said nobody’s coming in because it was out of control.” (See the video above at 16:10)
Then he walked back what he had just insisted, saying he would shut the border in the future if it’s necessary, “if we find that it gets to a level where we are going to lose control.”
But minutes later he returned to his insistence that he had already closed the border.
“I’ve already shut it down, I’ve already shut it down — for short periods,” he said in response to a question to clarify the shutdown.
“I’ve already shut down parts of the border because it was out of control with the rioting on the other side in Mexico. And I just said, ‘Shut it down.’ You see it. I mean, it took place two days ago.” (19:00)
When someone asked if he had to sign an order to shut it down, Trump responded: “Yeah, they call me up, and I sign an order.”
Asked if the media could get a copy, Trump responded: “You don’t need it. Don’t worry. It’s not that big a deal. Maybe to some people it is.”
No order on closing the border has been released by the White House.
Trump may have been referring to a three-hour suspension Monday morning of most northbound traffic lanes from Mexico at the busy San Ysidro port of entry while border officials added security barricades ahead of the arrival of the caravan.
Trump also told reporters that he has “given the okay” for the military to use lethal force at the border. He insisted, without evidence, that there are a “minimum of 500 serious criminals” on the migrant caravan headed to the border.
He also seemed to criticize his own new trade pact with Mexico. Trump said in the event of a border shutdown, “Mexico will not be able to sell their cars into the United States where they make so many cars at great benefit to them, not at great benefit to us.”