Donald Trump spent the past couple weeks saying lawmakers were “wasting their time” trying to negotiate a funding deal to keep the government open, and now that they’ve found a tentative compromise, he won’t even say if he’ll sign it.
“I can’t say I’m happy. I can’t say I’m thrilled,” Trump told reporters Tuesday at the White House. “I would hope that there won’t be a shutdown. […] I am extremely unhappy with what the Democrats have given us,” he said, as if Democrats dreamed up the deal out of the blue. Later Trump said he was “adding things to it.” Yeah, that’s not how it works—a president doesn’t just sprinkle a few things in on the back end of legislating.
In fact, at his Monday night rally in El Paso to gin up anti-immigrant fear, Trump told the crowd he explicitly chose to be there instead of where the actual work of the governing was being done.
Initially, the White House declined to comment on the compromise after it was announced Monday evening. “I’m not really ready to focus on what could be in there,” spokesperson Hogan Gidley told Fox News Tuesday morning. “I would like to focus on what is actually in there, and we haven’t seen that yet.”
Everyone else had had the time to review the broad brush strokes of what’s in the deal. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell clearly looked at it and began tweeting for an audience of the one person who wishes it didn’t even exist. McConnell declared total victory, saying Democrats were forced to “walk away” from their “extreme positions” while the agreement “provides new funds for miles of border barriers.” Notice his use of the word “barriers” versus a wall, and yeah, the deal provides a little less than $1.4 billion for new fencing—far short of the $5.7 billion Trump demanded.
Fox News personality and Trump bestie Sean Hannity sure knew who got the short end of the stick when he called it a “garbage compromise.”
But as far as Trump’s concerned, maybe he can sell his bubble-head following on the notion that a deal never even happened.
“As I was walking up to the stage, they said that progress is being made with this committee,” Trump told the Texas crowd. “Just so you know: We’re building the wall anyway.”
Oh, and by the by, that shutdown was genius.
“If we didn’t do that shutdown, we would not have been able to show this country, these politicians, the world what the hell is happening with the border. That was a very important thing we did,” Trump said, congratulating himself on killing government functions and heaping misery on millions of government workers, contractors, and other Americans. #MAGA