Just four days before Democrats take control of the House of Representatives, opening what promises to be a new, more adversarial era in Donald Trump's relationship with Congress, CBS reported that the second-ranking House Democrat delivered a sharp message to Trump — "come to grips with reality."
Trump on Friday morning took to his Twitter account to escalate his rhetoric over the current government shutdown caused by his refusal to sign a funding bill without money allocated to build his hoped-for wall along the United States-Mexico border, as the Inquisitr reported.
"We will be forced to close the Southern Border entirely if the Obstructionist Democrats do not give us the money to finish the Wall & also change the ridiculous immigration laws that our Country is saddled with," Trump wrote on Twitter. "Hard to believe there was a Congress & President who would approve."
But according to an analysis by legal experts in the Washington Post, Trump is simply not capable of ordering the Mexico border closed by decree.
Trump "would face the same legal scrutiny as his travel ban of people from certain Muslim-majority countries, which has ping-ponged through the court system," immigration law expert Leon Fresco explained to the Post. "And he'd have an even tougher sell closing off the southern border to legal entry, because he tweeted that his motivation to close the border is for political leverage and not an imminent national security threat."
But Maryland Representative Steny Hoyer, who will become House Majority Leader when Democrats assume control of the House in the new Congress starting in January, rebuked Trump in even more pointed language, according to a statement posted on Twitter by CBS News correspondent Bo Erickson, dismissing Trump's Twitter threats as "a tantrum" and reminding Trump that "he is not a dictator."
"(Trump) ought to get over this syndrome of his television show: 'You're fired!' 'We're gonna walk away!' 'We're gonna get out of your sandbox and you can't play in it!'" Hoyer told CBS. "This is just a — you know, it's a tantrum."
Hoyer added that Trump "needs to come to grips with reality, he needs to come to grips with the fact he is not a dictator."
A complete closure of the border between the U.S. and Mexico could effectively cut the U.S. off from its third-largest trading partner, according to Office of the U.S. Trade Representative statistics, with $615.9 billion in trade between the two countries in 2017 alone.
A complete closure of the border would cause the United States economy to "grind to a halt," economist and Mexico trade expert Duncan Wood told CBS News.