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Trump on border closure: "Security is more important to me than trade"

President Donald Trump.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump, while doubling down on his threat to close the U.S. border with Mexico on Tuesday, acknowledged that it would inflict negative consequences on the economy, but said that "security is more important to me than trade."

The big picture: Last Friday, Trump threatened to shut down the border this week unless Mexico "immediately" stops the flow of Central American migrants en route to the U.S., though Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters today that Trump is not operating with a "specific timeline" in mind. The Washington Post reported Tuesday that White House officials are looking for ways to allow commercial trade to continue through a border shutdown, following warnings about the damage it could to do the economy.

Go deeper: Critical industries could go under if Trump closes U.S-Mexico border