President Donald Trump asserted Saturday that media reports of dysfunction within his administration amid the longest government shutdown in U.S. history were inaccurate because “there’s almost nobody in the W.H. but me.”
“I just watched a Fake reporter from the Amazon Washington Post say the White House is ‘chaotic, there does not seem to be a strategy for this Shutdown. There is no plan.’ The Fakes always like talking Chaos, there is NONE. In fact, there’s almost nobody in the W.H. but me, and …
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“I do have a plan on the Shutdown,” Trump continued, adding: “But to understand that plan you would have to understand the fact that I won the election, and I promised safety and security for the American people. Part of that promise was a Wall at the Southern Border. Elections have consequences!”
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) voiced that same refrain to the president during a meeting in the Oval Office with then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Vice President Mike Pence in December, 10 days before the government funding lapse.
“Elections have consequences, Mr. President,” Schumer told Trump last month, following the midterm elections where Democrats gained 40 seats and retook the House.
The shutdown entered its fourth week on Saturday, with congressional lawmakers leaving town Friday as 800,000 federal workers missed their first paycheck as a result of the partisan impasse.
Philip Rucker, the Post’s White House bureau chief, identified himself in a tweet as the reporter to whom the president was likely referring in his post.
In a further tweet Saturday — his sixth shutdown-related tweet of the morning — Trump urged Democrats to “get back to work,” following several earlier tweets that stressed a “humanitarian crisis” at the border.
On Saturday evening, Trump called into Jeanine Pirro’s show on Fox News, delivering familiar talking points on the shutdown and border security while urging Democrats to make a deal. Asked pointedly if he was ready to declare a state of emergency, the president said he would “if [the Democrats] don’t come to their senses.”