Trump Threatens Government Shutdown Could Last “Months or Even Years”

“I did say that. Absolutely I said that.”

Jacquelyn Martin/AP

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President Donald Trump confirmed that he threatened Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to continue the partial government shutdown, now in its 14th day, for “months or even years” if Democrats did not agree to appropriate more than $5 billion for his proposed border wall.

“I did, I did,” Trump said during a press conference from the White House Rose Garden on Friday. “I did say that, absolutely I said that. I don’t think it will, but I am prepared.”

The president’s acknowledgment of the bold threat came shortly after congressional leaders met at the White House to discuss an end to the partial shutdown that has left nearly 800,000 federal workers furloughed or working without pay.

“We told the president we needed the government open,” Schumer told reporters following the discussions. “He resisted. In fact, he said he’d keep the government closed for a very long period of time, months or even years.”

But Trump on Friday struck a decidedly optimistic tone after the meeting, claiming that the latest round of negotiations had been productive. That characterization, which Republican leaders echoed during their turns at the Rose Garden lectern on Friday, immediately rang hollow when the president confirmed he had issued the threat to Schumer earlier in the afternoon.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who was present for the White House meeting earlier on Friday, was notably absent from the Rose Garden.

Later in the press conference, Trump encouraged landlords of federal workers affected by the shutdown to “be nice and easy” about tenants’ potential difficulties paying rent on time.

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WHO DOESN’T LOVE A POSITIVE STORY—OR TWO?

“Great journalism really does make a difference in this world: it can even save kids.”

That’s what a civil rights lawyer wrote to Julia Lurie, the day after her major investigation into a psychiatric hospital chain that uses foster children as “cash cows” published, letting her know he was using her findings that same day in a hearing to keep a child out of one of the facilities we investigated.

That’s awesome. As is the fact that Julia, who spent a full year reporting this challenging story, promptly heard from a Senate committee that will use her work in their own investigation of Universal Health Services. There’s no doubt her revelations will continue to have a big impact in the months and years to come.

Like another story about Mother Jones’ real-world impact.

This one, a multiyear investigation, published in 2021, exposed conditions in sugar work camps in the Dominican Republic owned by Central Romana—the conglomerate behind brands like C&H and Domino, whose product ends up in our Hershey bars and other sweets. A year ago, the Biden administration banned sugar imports from Central Romana. And just recently, we learned of a previously undisclosed investigation from the Department of Homeland Security, looking into working conditions at Central Romana. How big of a deal is this?

“This could be the first time a corporation would be held criminally liable for forced labor in their own supply chains,” according to a retired special agent we talked to.

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And it is only because Mother Jones is funded primarily by donations from readers that we can mount ambitious, yearlong—or more—investigations like these two stories that are making waves.

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