- President Trump expressed openness to a government shutdown on Friday, again reversing his stance on whether funding for a US-Mexico border wall must be in the must pass spending bill at the end of September.
- Trump has reversed his stance on a government shutdown several times this week, frightening Republican leaders in Congress.
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said Friday that he wants to have a government shutdown later this month when the funding deadline approaches, telling reporters that he thinks it is an ideal political move.
“I would do it because I think it’s a great political issue,” Trump told the White House pool. “I was reading and watching the other day, there are some people I have a lot of respect for. Rush Limbaugh says it’s the greatest thing you can do. Mark Levin, the greatest thing you can do. Your friend Hannity, the greatest thing you can do.”
Funding runs out on September 30, which Republicans will have to compromise on to avoid a government shutdown.
Trump also signalled that while many Republicans are wary of the optics a government shutdown could have on the midterm elections, he is confident the GOP will fare well in November.
“There are a lot of politicians that I like and respect and are with me all the way that would rather not do it because they have races, they’re doing well, they’re up,” he said. “The way they look at it, might be good, might be bad.”
“I think we’re going to do great in the Senate,” he added. “Better than anyone has any understanding of. I think we’re going to do well in the House. I think I’ll do almost as well in the elections.”
Over the past week, Trump has gone back and forth with himself over whether he would back a government shutdown, of which there have been multiple during his administration.
In an interview with The Daily Caller on Tuesday, Trump said he does not like the idea of them.
The next day, he said changed his tune while discussing the role of national security and funding for a wall along the US-Mexico border.
“If it’s about border security, I’m willing to do anything,” Trump said Wednesday. “We have to protect our borders.”
On Thursday, he said, “If it were up to me I would shut down the government over border security,” adding,”but I don’t want to do anything that is going to hurt us or potentially hurt us because I’ve got a feeling that Republicans are going to do really well in the midterms.”
The threat of yet another shutdown is a major fear for Republican leaders in the House and Senate, who prefer to avoid the negativity that comes with them. But if Trump is truly dead set on securing funding for his border wall, another shutdown might just happen.
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