President Trump offered little hope to bringing an end to the government shutdown when pressed by reporters on Christmas Eve.
‘Nothing new. Nothing new on the shutdown. Nothing new, except we need border security,’ he told reporters at the White House on Monday while participating in the annual tradition of answering telephone calls from children calling for Santa.
Christmas Day now marks the fourth day of the partial government shutdown with no end in sight. Most lawmakers fled the capital over the weekend to be with family while Trump remained at the White House with Melania, after scrapping plans to spend Christmas at his Florida estate.
President Trump offered little hope to bringing an end to the government shutdown when pressed by reporters on Christmas Eve (pictured receiving a briefing in the Oval Office on Christmas Eve)
‘Nothing new. Nothing new on the shutdown. Nothing new, except we need border security,’ he told reporters at the White House on Monday while participating in the annual tradition of answering telephone calls from children calling for Santa
Trump has come under fire from Democratic leaders of Congress, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi, who have blamed him for ‘plunging the country into chaos’ with no clear plan how to get back on track.
‘The president wanted the shutdown, but he seems not to know how to get himself out of it,’ they said in a joint statement.
They pointed to problems beyond the shutdown, including heavy losses on Wall Street and Trump’s decision to fire his defense secretary.
Trump had said he’d be ‘proud’ to shut down the government in a fight over the wall, but now blames Democrats for refusing to give him the votes needed to approve a House-passed bill that includes the $5.7 billion he wants for the wall.
POOR ME: Bored at the White House on Christmas Eve as his wife flew back from Florida to be with him
He is promoting a ‘steel slats’ fencing design that the White House thinks some Democrats will support. Existing legislation allows for ‘bollard fencing’ along the southern border
The White House presented a counteroffer over the weekend to Schumer that is between Trump’s $5.7 billion price tag and the $1.3 billion Democrats have offered, said budget director Mick Mulvaney. Mulvaney withheld specifics, but a Democratic aide granted anonymity to discuss the private talks said the White House offered $2.5 billion – an initial $2.1 billion plus $400 million Democrats called a ‘slush fund’ for the president’s other immigration priorities.
Mulvaney said he was waiting for Schumer’s response. Schumer’s office said the parties remained ‘very far apart.’
Trump chimed in from the White House, where he has relentlessly tweeted on a variety of issues while cooped up in the mansion since Saturday, when the shutdown began. He tweeted at one point about feeling lonely.
Christmas Day now marks the fourth day of the partial government shutdown with no end in sight. The empty U.S. Capitol Rotunda is seen during a partial government shutdown in Washington, Monday
National Park Service employees open the National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse near the White House, Monday, Dec. 24, 2018, in Washington. The area was reopened after electrical repairs were made that were delayed because of the partial government shutdown
‘I am all alone (poor me) in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security,’ he tweeted. ‘At some point the Democrats not wanting to make a deal will cost our Country more money than the Border Wall we are all talking about. Crazy!’
He was later joined by first lady Melania. Together they spoke to children calling the NORAD Santa Tracker on Christmas Eve.
President Trump capped off a terrible week for himself nearly ruining Christmas for the young caller by questioning his belief in Santa Claus.
‘Are you still a believer in Santa?’ Trump asked a caller named Coleman according to pool reports. ‘Because at seven it’s marginal, right?’
He was later joined by first lady Melania. Together they spoke to children calling the NORAD Santa Tracker on Christmas Eve
Earlier that day, Trump met border security with Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and other department officials. Senate negotiators continued talks behind the scenes with Democrats and Republicans. The House and Senate briefly gaveled into session on Christmas Eve before quickly closing again with no further action.
Several Cabinet departments and agencies have been closed since Saturday after their funding lapsed, and Mulvaney warned the shutdown could stretch into January, when Democrats are set to take back control the House.
Trump excused federal employees from work on Monday and Christmas is a federal holiday, meaning the public could begin feeling the shutdown’s effects on Wednesday. Some 800,000 federal workers must work without pay for the time being, or stay home and wait to be paid later.
Trump promised to make Mexico pay for the border wall. Mexico has refused.
Sorry we are not currently accepting comments on this article.