As a coda to a day of political shock, President Trump insisted he wouldn’t sign a government spending bill, and posted a new video blaming Democrats for the shutdown he promised he’d own.
Senate Republicans were flummoxed after meeting with Trump Thursday, having been confident just the day before that he would sign the stopgap. Lawmakers already passed a continuing resolution to keep all areas of the government funded and operational.
House Republicans likewise believed that they had successfully struck a deal, and had even planned a press conference to discuss it. But the press conference was canceled and outgoing Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) instead was left admitting that Trump had killed the deal, effectively guaranteeing that the shutdown would indeed take place.
In a brief video posted on Twitter later Thursday afternoon, Trump blamed the Democrats for the impasse.
“The fact is: We need the wall. The Democrats know it; everybody knows it,” he said. He went on to accuse them of both lying and being unpatriotic.
“They want to try and do anything possible to hurt us, because of the fact it’s politics,” he said. “I understand that. I don’t even hold it against them, except you should always put your country first, and they’re not doing that. They’re putting politics first.” Trump ended by once again promising the wall will be completed.
Democrats, it is time to come together and put the SAFETY of the AMERICAN PEOPLE before POLITICS. Border security must become a #1 priority! pic.twitter.com/Wck6UpQGil
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 20, 2018
This is quite a different tune from just a week ago, when during a terse meeting with prospective Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Trump promised to own the shutdown.
“You want to know something? I’ll take it,” he said at the time. “I will shut down the government. I am proud to shut down the government. I will take the mantle.”
When the funding deadline arrives Friday, he will indeed own it.