President Donald Trump blamed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday for a government shutdown that he has already said he was “proud” to cause.
The president, who said he would shut down the government if he didn’t get more federal funding for a U.S.-Mexico border wall, accused Pelosi of preventing Democrats from negotiating to end the weekslong shutdown. Democrats have remained unified in arguing the government should reopen while border discussions continue ― and that a wall shouldn’t be a part of the negotiation.
But Trump insisted that some Democrats are being prevented from working with him.
“While many Democrats in the House and Senate would like to make a deal, Speaker Pelosi will not let them negotiate,” Trump claimed during remarks at the Pentagon. “The party has been hijacked by the open-borders fringe within the party. The radical left becoming the radical Democrats.”
The government has been shut down since the end of last year after Democrats refused Trump’s demand for $5 billion in taxpayer funding to build his wall. The shutdown has left approximately 800,000 federal workers without pay.
On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of legislatures met with Trump to discuss the shutdown and to negotiate a solution. Nothing was accomplished.
While Trump continues to blame Democrats for the shutdown, the president’s own remarks in the past tell a different story.
“If we don’t get what we want, one way or the other, whether it’s through you, through military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government,” Trump said during a televised Oval Office meeting with Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) in December, before the shutdown.
Trump’s other claim, that Pelosi and Democrats don’t support border security, is also untrue. Democrats offered to allocate $1.3 billion for border security, which included building and refurbishing barriers at the border, and they have voted for and proposed other measures in the past.
Democrats don’t, however, support Trump’s demand for more money for the wall ― so the shutdown continues.