Trump Bizarrely Threatens To Turn Shutdown Fight Into Mexican Trade War

US President Donald Trump speaks at a military briefing during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on December 26, 2018. - President Donald Trump arrived in Iraq on his first visit to US troops deployed i... US President Donald Trump speaks at a military briefing during an unannounced trip to Al Asad Air Base in Iraq on December 26, 2018. - President Donald Trump arrived in Iraq on his first visit to US troops deployed in a war zone since his election two years ago (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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December 28, 2018 10:40 a.m.

In a befuddling series of tweets Friday, President Trump appeared to threaten both the Democrats and U.S. trade relations with Mexico when he suggested he would close the southern border.

While threatening “obstructionist Democrats” and harping on the loss of “soooo much money” each year to Mexico over NAFTA, Trump said he would be in favor of a southern border shutdown, both as a means to halt immigration and cut off trade ties with Mexico.

“Bring our car industry back into the United States where it belongs. Go back to pre-NAFTA, before so many of our companies and jobs were so foolishly sent to Mexico,” he said, creating a mystifying link between the government shutdown he created over wall funding and the halt of commerce with one of the U.S.’s closest trade allies.

In his Friday tweet storm, Trump also gave Democrats an ultimatum about the wall; declared the U.S. is cutting off aid to Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador; and made baseless claims about a new “caravan forming in Honduras.”

Trump appears to have been influenced by uber-conservative members of the media when he backtracked on his support for a government funding deal last week and propelled the federal government into shutdown mode just days before Christmas. Since then, chances of a reopening before the new Congress is seated are grim, according to reports that suggest Trump is not even speaking with Congressional leaders.

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