The president’s arguments, in morning tweets, represented his latest attempt to portray a security crisis at the border using what Democrats have derided as scare tactics.
The tweets come as Trump and congressional Democrats remain at an impasse over his demand for $5.7 billion in border-wall funding that has led to a partial government shutdown now in its 28th day.
In one tweet, Trump referenced a Washington Examiner story that prominently quoted an unnamed rancher from a remote, southwestern part of New Mexico who said that her discovery of prayer rugs suggested “terrorist threats” unappreciated by the general public.
In a video that accompanied the story, the rancher acknowledged that she “never seen any Middle Easterners” herself. She did not explain how she knows the blankets she says she has discovered are prayer rugs nor did the video show any such rugs.
“People coming across the Southern Border from many countries, some of which would be a big surprise,” Trump said in his tweet that referenced the Examiner story.
In advance of last year’s midterm elections, Trump also sought to highlight what he said was a threat from “all sorts of people” of Middle Eastern descent joining a caravan making its way through Central America toward the U.S. border.
He at one point acknowledged “there’s no proof of anything” before adding “but there very well could be” large number of Middle Easterners in the caravan.
In his tweets Friday, Trump pointed to a new caravan of Central American migrants crossing into Mexico from Guatemala that had been the subjects of segments earlier on “Fox & Friends,” a show the president regularly watches.
“Another big Caravan heading our way. Very hard to stop without a Wall!” Trump tweeted.
Later Friday morning, Trump claimed the Republican party remained united around his position not to “cave” on border security.
“A beautiful thing to see, especially when you hear the new rhetoric spewing from the mouths of the Democrats who talk Open Border, High Taxes and Crime. Stop Criminals & Drugs now!” Trump wrote.
Several prominent Republican senators have urged Trump in recent days to agree to reopen the government on a temporary basis before turning to negotiations over wall funding and related issues.