"Close the whole thing!": Border tensions boil over as Trump’s frustrations grow

Trump’s own escalating frustration has led him to excoriate aides for not taking more aggressive actions and to offer his own ideas, officials said. He has ruminated this week over the possibility of sending more soldiers to the border, even though thousands of National Guard troops have been deployed there since April with no evidence of a deterrent effect.

In the summer, the president was so upset by the border numbers that he proposed sealing the entire 1,954-mile U.S.-Mexico border, including shuttering legal ports of entry, blocking trade flows and halting tourism and travel, according to the senior administration officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive internal deliberations.

“Close the whole thing!” Trump demanded at one point during an Oval Office meeting, the officials said. He was talked out of it by advisers who highlighted the effect such a measure would have on more than $600 billion in U.S.-Mexico annual trade, as well as the potential damage to bilateral relations, according to the officials.

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