Trump Blames Democrats for Shutdown, Uses It to Campaign for 2018

In his first public comments on the government shutdown, President Trump on Saturday placed the blame entirely on Democrats, who he says “could have easily made a deal.” “Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border,” he wrote on Twitter, accusing Democrats of playing “shutdown politics.” He also used the government shutdown as a campaign slogan for 2018 midterm elections. “WeNeedMoreRepublicansIn18 to power through mess!” he wrote. Democratic lawmakers, meanwhile, have said they were close to a deal with Trump but the president unexpectedly bailed on the plan at the last minute. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Saturday he’d offered to discuss a U.S.-Mexico border wall in last-minute negotiations with Trump on Friday, but “even that was not enough to entice the president to finish the deal.” Ahead of a feared government shutdown last November, Trump reportedly told confidants he believed a shutdown would benefit him politically, saying he’d blame Democrats in order to bolster support from his base.