Who’s Responsible For The #TrumpShutdown? President Trump And Republican Dysfunction

January 20, 2018

PRESIDENT TRUMP

Washington Post: ‘Negotiating With Jell-O’: How Trump’s Shifting Positions Fueled The Rush To A Shutdown. “After the president ordered cameras out of the Cabinet Room that day, the group delved into the details. Kirstjen Nielsen, Trump’s homeland security secretary, and her staff passed out a four-page document on the administration’s ‘must haves’ for any immigration bill — a hard-line list that included $18 billion for Trump’s promised border wall, eliminating the diversity visa lottery program and ending “extended family chain migration,” according to the document, which was obtained by The Washington Post. But one person seemed surprised and alarmed by the memo: the president. With Democrats and Republicans still in the room, Trump said that the document didn’t represent all of his positions, that he wasn’t familiar with its contents and that he didn’t appreciate being caught off-guard. He instructed the group to disregard the summary and move on, according to one of the lawmakers in the room, speaking on the condition of anonymity to describe a private conversation. ‘It’s like the wedding where someone actually stands up and objects to the wedding,’ the lawmaker said. ‘It was that moment.’ … But early Saturday morning, there was no Trump to be found. He was cloistered at the White House away from public view. Another promising deal — so tantalizingly close — had somehow slipped away.” [Washington Post, 1/20/18]

Politico: “Trump, too, was waiting for voters to point the finger at him. After all, with universal name ID and a massive megaphone, the president wouldn’t be able to escape culpability. ‘It’s Trump — they’re going to blame me no matter what,’ the president told aides on Friday.” [Politico, 1/20/18]

Senior Senate GOP Aide: “Like one of his buildings, this shutdown will have Trump written all over it.” [Weekly Standard, 1/20/18]

Reuters:  Trump's dealmaker image tarnished by U.S. government shutdown.  “His failure to win passage by the U.S. Congress of a stopgap bill to maintain funding for the federal government further damaged his self-crafted image as a dealmaker who would repair the broken culture in Washington.” [Reuters, 1/20/18]

2011 Donald Trump: “But if there is a shutdown I think it would be a tremendously negative mark on the president of the United States. He's the one that has to get people together.” [NBC, 4/7/11]

REPUBLICAN LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY):

Washington Post: “At one point, Schumer asked Trump to tweet in favor of a short-term bill to pressure others, officials said. The top Senate Democrat left the meeting buoyed, telling others that Trump seemed willing to strike a deal. But as the day wore on, McConnell urged Kelly to not give in.” [Washington Post, 1/20/18]

On Thursday night, Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) asked consent to hold the cloture vote on the House Republican CR bill so that talks could move on. Republican Leader Mitch McConnell objected.

Early Saturday morning, Senator Bill Nelson (D-FL) asked consent to pass a 24-hour continuing resolution in an effort to give bipartisan negotiations an opportunity to “bear fruit.” Sen. McConnell objected.

A few moments later, Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) asked consent to pass a three day continuing resolution in an effort to give bipartisan negotiations a chance. Sen. McConnell objected.

TRUMP CHIEF OF STAFF JOHN KELLY:

CNBC: How Trump chief of staff John Kelly helped to kill a possible deal to fund the government. “White House chief of staff John Kelly played a major role in President Donald Trump shooting down the framework of a last-minute deal floated by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to fund the government Friday.” [CNBC, 1/20/18]

Washington Post: “At another point, Kelly called Schumer, telling the Democrat that his immigration proposal was too liberal and would not work for the administration.” [Washington Post, 1/20/18]

Associated Press:  “Trump called Schumer one more time as the evening turned to night, this time with chief of staff Kelly on the phone. He raised new concerns about the deal they had discussed during lunch. In a subsequent phone call with Schumer, Kelly said the deal was too liberal.” [AP, 1/20/18]

NY Times: “As the evening wore on, Mr. Schumer got a call from Mr. Kelly that dashed all hopes for a Trump-Schumer deal before the shutdown deadline of midnight. Mr. Kelly, a hard-liner on immigration, the person familiar with the call said, outlined a long list of White House objections to the deal.” [NY Times, 1/19/18]

Politico: “But White House Chief of Staff John Kelly phoned Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) right after the meeting. His message: There would be no Trump-Schumer deal.” [Politico, 1/20/18]

Daily Beast: “Per a source familiar: it was Kelly who called Schumer to say that the outline of the deal that Schumer and Trump had discussed was too liberal” [Daily Beast, 11/19/18]

NBC News: “SCHUMER-TRUMP TICK TOCK, FOR SERIOUS: Back and forth over the course of the day ends with John Kelly calling Schumer to complain the framework Schumer & Trump agreed to at lunch was too liberal for GOP GOP says, need POTUS to make deal. Then seems to say: POTUS deal no good. Hm.” [NBC News, 1/19/18]

The Guardian: “Source confirms it was John Kelly who phoned Schumer and rejected the deal he discussed with Trump, even though president seemed amenable.” [The Guardian, 1/19/18]

SPEAKER PAUL RYAN (R-WI):

BuzzFeed: “Here's where negotiations are at, according to Republican Senator Jeff Flake, and here's how he thinks a deal will be reached today. … However, Paul Ryan would not make the same commitment in the House, so he wouldn't go quite as far as McConnell, according to Flake. I think deal probably would've collapsed anyway without an agreement to tie DACA to a must-pass funding bill.” [BuzzFeed, 1/20/18]