Trump Is Making an Ass of Himself Over the Shutdown

His staffers and cheerleaders aren’t helping.

Chris Kleponis/AP

Things aren’t looking good for President Donald Trump. The government shutdown—for which the public mostly blames him, despite his claims to the contrary—is now in its 16th day. Democrats are officially in charge of the House. Trump has made no progress on securing funding for his unpopular border wall. People are swarming, mostly unsupervised, over our national parks. And to top it off, he and his staff have made a series of shutdown-related blunders this weekend that only make things worse for Republicans. Here’s a partial list of events fueling the administration’s woes.

Trump told reporters he “can relate” to federal workers going without pay during the shutdown

Really? Trump then added, without a shred of evidence, that many federal workers “agree 100 percent with what I’m doing.”

Fox News’ Chris Wallace questioned White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders’ claims on border security

In a Fox News interview on Sunday, Sanders claimed that terrorists have been entering at the US-Mexico border. Wallace pushed her about the claim, referencing a State Department report saying there’s “no credible evidence of any terrorists coming across the border from Mexico.” Watch from the 5:35 mark:

Trump again threatened to declare a national emergency to secure wall funds, a move that would face legal challenges

“I may decide a national emergency depending on what happens [with negotiations] over the next few days,” he told reporters on Sunday. “We have to build the wall or we have to build the barrier. The barrier or the wall can be of steel instead of concrete if that works better.”

“There is a provision in law that says the president can declare an emergency,” said Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.), chair of the House Armed Services Committee, on ABC’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos. “In this case, I think the president would be wide open to a court challenge saying, ‘Where is the emergency?'”

In a tweet about border security, Trump misspelled former President Barack Obama’s name

Trump claimed that past presidents told him they wished they had built a border wall. Turns out, nobody knows what he’s talking about.

Mick Mulvaney had “no idea” which presidents Trump was referring to when he made his evidence-free claim on Friday. No word from any former presidents, either.

Trump’s political foes piled on

In an interview with CBS’s Face the Nation, Democratic Whip Dick Durbin pointed out, “The overwhelming number of undocumented people in the United States [are people with] overstayed visas. They did not cross the border. The solution to that is not a concrete wall. It’s a computer program that needs to track these people who have received the visas.”

Freshman Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez likened the shutdown to “hostage-taking”

Finally, rapper Snoop Dogg posted an Instagram video calling federal workers “stupid motherfuckers” if they support Trump in 2020 after all he’s putting them through

“I’m saying that to y’all early,” he said in a video posted Saturday.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.