He said he'd give Mexico a one-year warning and potentially implement a 25 per cent auto tariff if the country didn't stop the flow of illicit drugs being smuggled into the US.
Since then, however, White House advisers, border city leaders and US economists have warned that such a move would have enormous economic consequences on both sides of the border, interrupting supply chains and boosting USA consumer prices on everything from avocadoes to autos.
"I'm sorry", Trump said during a roundtable on the border at the U.S. Border Patrol station in Calexico, Calif.
The Trump administration sent a notice to members of Congress on Thursday, informing them that Vitiello's nomination to lead ICE has been rescinded, according to sources who spoke with The Associated Press. Trump, who has long said his unpredictability is one of his greatest negotiating assets, has also followed through with some of his most bombastic threats, including forcing the country's longest-ever government shutdown over border funding.
Twenty states have filed a motion to block Trump's attempt to divert federal funds through an emergency declaration, the NY state attorney general said on Friday.
The attorneys general claim that Trump is disregarding the will of Congress and separation of powers by moving these funds, which hurts their states, and also failing to provide the required environmental impact statement, particularly for New Mexico and other border states.
"This policy chaos, coupled with a sense that the USA government may at some point really shut down the border, has generated an urgency to migrate now while it is still possible", he said.
"Mexico, I have to say, has been very, very good. over the last four days since I talked about shutting down the border", he said. Part of it is because of the fact that the country is doing so well.
US House voting Wednesday on 'Obamacare' resolution; Senate introduces own measure
According to The Hill , Trump was confident in his remarks the GOP will regain its majority in the House chamber next year. Almost 60 percent of voters said they didn't have a lot of trust or any trust at all in Trump when it came to health care.
While sounding tough, Trump's surprise shift this week to tariffs from the previous threat to close the border is a major climb down.
Trump, who campaigned on a promise to secure the border, has thrown virtually every option his aides have been able to think of at the problem, to little avail.
The rhetoric during Trump's border tour Friday continued days of escalating threats to shut down the U.S. -Mexico border, although he gradually backed off the pledge before he flew West on a two-day trip that also included fundraisers and a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition this weekend.
ABC has not been able to independently confirm Trump's claims that Mexico is stopping migrants from entering Mexico or deporting them.
"America is facing an unprecedented crisis at the border", he said.
But by Thursday, Trump's demand morphed into a tariff threat.
In addition, despite what Trump suggests, Mexico, China and other American trading partners don't pay US tariffs directly.
Trump imposed tariffs on steel and aluminum imports past year, making some component parts more expensive for vehicle makers - but hasn't pulled the trigger on auto tariffs. He emphasized that it was fueled by USA demand. Despite a almost $14 million contract with the consulting firm Accenture, Border Patrol hired only two frontline agents in the first 10 months of the contract, a government watchdog report found. More than half of those are families with children. The president vetoed House-passed legislation to terminate the emergency declaration, prompting the lawsuit.