It hasn’t even been five days since Donald Trump threatened to shut down the entire U.S.-Mexico border sometime “next week” (that is, right now) and already the White House is scrambling to blame Democrats for the president’s Twitter tantrum.
Asked on Tuesday to name the specific statute giving Trump the “authority” to close off America’s southern border entirely, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders ignored the question entirely, insisting instead that “Democrats are leaving us absolutely no choice at this point,” which, last time I checked, wasn’t actually part of the U.S. Code.
“People are starting to understand exactly what the president has said was going to happen all along, and it’s unfortunate because this could have been something that we fixed if Democrats had been willing to work with us,” Sanders continued. “Hopefully they see the impact that it’s having on our border, and on our border agents, and they’ll be willing to step up and do their jobs and help the president.”
Making Sanders’ awkward pivot all the more ridiculous is the fact that Trump pinned any eventual border closure on Mexico, not the Democrats, tweeting that he’d lock down the border only if Mexico “doesn’t immediately stop ALL illegal immigration coming into the United States throug [sic] our Southern Border.”
Meanwhile, there’s no indication that Trump actually plans to follow through on his threat—one which would potentially cost the U.S. hundreds of millions of dollars a day. He seemingly gave himself some wiggle room on Tuesday by complementing Mexico for “apprehending large numbers of people at their Southern Border.”
It also remains unclear whether Trump could, practically speaking, even shut down the border in the first place.