President Donald Trump on Thursday insisted that putting tariffs on cars built in Mexico would stop illegal immigration and drug trafficking in a bizarre White House rant -- and added that if tariffs didn't work, he'd shut down the entire southern border.
"We love the country of Mexico. We have two problems,” Trump said. “We have the fact that they allow people to pour in to our country. We have to stop them.”
“The other problem is drugs,” he continued. “Much of the drugs coming into our country come through the southern border in all different ways.”
“We need help from Mexico," Trump went on. "If Mexico doesn't give the help, that's OK -- we will tariff their cars coming into the United States."
"The other thing is because Mexico is such a big source of drugs, unfortunately, unfortunately, now we have China sending fentanyl to Mexico so it can be delivered into the United States," he added, just days after praising China for cracking down the substance. "If the drugs don't stop, Mexico can stop them if they want, we'll tariff the cars, the cars are very big. If that doesn't work, we're going to close the border. I think that will work. It's massive numbers of dollars."
"If we don't see people apprehended and brought back to their countries, if we see the massive caravans coming right through Mexico like nothing, buses are even given to them," Trump continued. "The only thing frankly,better but less drastic than closing the border is to tariff the cars coming in. I will do it. I don't play games. I'll do it."
"We're going to give them a one year warning and if the drugs don't stop, or largely stop, we're going to put tariffs on Mexico and products, in particular cars, the whole ball game is cars, it's the big ball game, with many countries, it's cars," Trump continued, barely stopping to take a breath. "If that doesn't stop the drugs, we close the border, because Mexico, last year, and over for many years, just like China except China numbers are even bigger."
"If they don't do it, we're going to tax the cars and if that doesn't work, we'll close the border," he repeated again. "We'll also do something having to do with tariffs on drugs."