‘Home alone’: Bored Trump tweets up storm during Christmas shutdown

Saul Bowman
December 26, 2018

The White House hasn't provided any further details about the claim, which Trump first made on Twitter on Christmas Eve.

President Donald Trump met today with his Homeland Security secretary and other officials to discuss border security issues as a partial government shutdown over his U.S. -Mexico border wall entered Christmas without a clear resolution in sight.

Trump, who had been scheduled to leave for his Florida vacation home on Friday, had opted instead to stay at the White House during the shutdown so far, which occurred after he and top lawmakers failed to end an impasse over funding for his proposed wall along the border with Mexico.

"I can tell you it's not going to be open until we have a wall or fence, whatever they'd like to call it", Mr Trump said, referring to Democrats who staunchly oppose walling off the Mexican border.

"I'll call it whatever they want, but it's all the same thing", he told reporters after participating in a holiday video conference with representatives from all five branches of the military stationed in Alaska, Bahrain, Guam and Qatar. "So they have offered us US$1.3 billion to build the barrier that we want - but then they go on TV and say there's no money for the wall", he said.

He insisted in lengthy remarks the prolonged shutdown was the fault of Democrats, and repeated his demands a border barrier be funded before the government can reopen.

But while trying to pin the blame on Democrats, Mulvaney, speaking on "Fox News Sunday", acknowledged that Trump's hardline stand played a role.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment. The Democrats, of course, are the arch-rivals of Trump's Republican Party.

"The only one that doesn't want the wall are the Democrats, because they don't mind open borders".

"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 Monday. Both House Minority Leader (and presumptive incoming Speaker of the House) Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) have publicly stated that they would be willing to keep the government shut down forever before approving funding for Trump's signature promise.

Monday night, on Christmas Eve, the President complained, feeling sorry for himself perhaps, isolated and under pressure from critics and allies alike over what has been a specially tumultuous past few days, even by his standard - Syria withdrawal and resignation by defense secretary James Mattis.

Last week, the central bank hiked rates, infuriating Trump who has ignored traditional respect for the Fed's independence, calling it "crazy", "out of control" and a greater economic threat than China.

More than 420,000 government employees deemed essential would be working without pay and over 380,000 would be furloughed, according to the projection by Senate Appropriations Committee staff.

Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director and incoming Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney said December 23 that the shutdown could potentially continue into the new year. That means Wednesday is the first day the public could begin to feel the effects of lost government services, Mulvaney said. That's when the two houses of the national legislature, the Congress, will meet again.

US border apprehensions hit a decade-long high in 2007 and fell every year until 2011, when they started to fluctuate from one year to the next.

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