WASHINGTON ― If the government shuts down in September, the White House is already saying it will be the Democrats’ fault ― because they had the audacity to hurt President Donald Trump’s feelings.
On Sunday, congressional negotiators came up with a plan to avert a shutdown this week and keep the government up and running through September. With the Republican caucus so divided, its members had to work with Democrats to figure out a bill that could pass. As a result, there is no funding for Trump’s border wall and no reductions in funding to “sanctuary cities.” There is, however, more domestic spending, protections for Planned Parenthood funding and money for Affordable Care Act subsidies.
Democrats have made clear that they are very happy with the spending deal and that they, not Trump, are the winners. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called it a “defeat” for Trump, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) gloated, “I think we had a strategy and it worked.”
This outcome has made Trump, who prides himself on being the best negotiator ever, incredibly angry. On Tuesday, he took to Twitter and threatened a “good” shutdown in September:
Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, told reporters Tuesday afternoon that the reason Trump floated the possibility of a shutdown was all because of Democrats’ happiness at the spending deal. Over and over, he went after Democrats for hurting the president’s feelings. Some highlights:
“The Dems have been trying to claim victory on this, which I think is a very strange way to look at a bipartisan discussion. If you’re in a bipartisan meeting, I think it is very unusual for one group to walk out and start spiking the football and say, ‘We won, we killed the other guys.’ It certainly doesn’t bode very well for future discussions.”
“I think the president is frustrated with the fact that he negotiated in good faith with the Democrats and they went out to try and spike the football to make him look bad. I get that frustration because I think it’s a terrible posture for the Democrats to take.”
“I think what you heard this morning was his sense of frustration over how he’s being mistreated by the Democrats on a bipartisan piece of legislation.”
“You have a president who is able to work with Democrats and Republicans. Again, a little disappointed with the way Democrats acted after the deal was put together.”
“What I think you heard the president express this morning was frustration over how he’s been treated as part of the negotiation. And it may be if things don’t get better, we may get to that point [of a shutdown].”
Mulvaney works for a president who still gloats about his (Electoral College) victory in the 2016 campaign at nearly every public event and in every interview. Trump also likes taking credit for jobs he didn’t create.
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