Trump roots for a government shutdown in order to get his way

Trump is blaming Democrats for not striking an immigration deal, while hoping for another shutdown

By Nicole Karlis

Published February 6, 2018 4:44PM (EST)

 (AP/Evan Vucci)
(AP/Evan Vucci)

President Donald Trump got into a confrontation with Rep. Barbara Comstock, R-Va., at the White House because Trump said he revealed he's in favor of another government shutdown.

According to a snippet of the transcript being tweeted by White House pool reporters, Comstock refuted Trump after he reportedly said he was in favor of another government shutdown if an immigration deal isn’t made by Friday.

“We don’t need a government shutdown on this,” Comstock said, emphasizing that both parties see “the downside of a shutdown.”

Trump reportedly interrupted Comstock and reiterated his desire “to risk a shutdown over immigration policy.”

"You can say what you want,” Trump said. “We are not getting support of Democrats.”

Steven Shepard of Politico tweeted a video of the "semi-confrontation" — as he called it.

Steve Holland, who covers politics for Reuters, asked Trump about his comment on the government shutdown, to which Trump responded:

"I would shut it down over this issue. I can't speak for everybody at the table but I will tell you, I would shut it down over this issue. If we don't straighten out our border, we don't have a country. Without borders we don't have a country. So would I would shut it down over this issue? Yes. I can't speak for our great representatives here but I have a feeling they may agree with me."

His words suggest that Trump may use a government shutdown as a way to threaten policymakers to get on board with his immigration framework — an exploitative move, given how Trump consistently casts blame on the Democrats. Indeed, in January Trump also blamed Democrats for the brief government shutdown.

“Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border,” Trump tweeted during the government shutdown on Jan. 20. “They could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead. #WeNeedMoreRepublicansIn18 in order to power through mess!”

It appears to be a lose-lose for both parties. Unless they both agree with Trump's proposed immigration deal, another shutdown seems inevitable.

Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a senior writer at Salon. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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Barbara Comstock Border Wall Daca Donald Trump Immigration Deal