PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Trump said on Friday that there would be a “very good likelihood” that he would seal off the United States border with Mexico next week, even as he moved to punish Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador for migrant caravans by cutting off all foreign aid to the countries.
The moves escalated a sustained berating of countries he blames for being unable to stop the flow of migrants trying to make their way north.
“I will close the border if Mexico doesn’t get with it,” Mr. Trump said to reporters who had gathered at Mar-a-Lago, his winter retreat in Florida. “If Mexico doesn’t stop it.”
At Mr. Trump’s direction, the State Department on Friday began the process of informing Congress that it intended to end the foreign aid. A person with knowledge of the decision said that Mr. Trump met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday, after which diplomats were directed to begin the process of cutting off the funds by drafting letters to lawmakers. Mr. Trump publicly said as much on Friday in comments to reporters.