President Trump turned what he said was a Senate Democrat-manufactured partial government shutdown into a campaign pitch for Republicans in the the 2018 midterms, claiming the minority party in the upper chamber "could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead."
The early-morning tweets came hours after his press secretary, Sarah Sanders, said the White House wouldn't negotiate with Democrats on immigration at all until they agree to keep the government open.
"This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present. #DemocratShutdown," Trump tweeted just hours after the partial shutdown began. "Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border. They could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead. #WeNeedMoreRepublicansIn18 in order to power through mess!"
Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border. They could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead. #WeNeedMoreRepublicansIn18 in order to power through mess!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2018
Most Democrats balked at supporting the spending bill because of their insistence on including a provision in it to protect “Dreamers” covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which prevents those who came to the U.S. illegally as children from being deported.
Several Republicans also voted against the bill, which would have authorized federal government spending through Feb. 16. The House approved the stopgap spending measure on Thursday.
While Trump blamed the Democrats for being intransigent, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., claimed that he was open to considering a wishlist item from Trump and his Republican allies in an effort to come to a compromise: funding for a border wall with Mexico.
"During the meeting, in exchange for strong DACA protections, I reluctantly put the border wall on the table for the discussion," Schumer said on the Senate floor early Saturday morning, referring to his meeting with Trump at the White House about a coming to an agreement on the spending deal. "Even that was not enough to entice the president to finish the deal," Schumer added.
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer on his meeting with President Trump: “In exchange for strong DACA protections, I reluctantly put the border wall on the table for discussion. Even that was not enough to entice the President to finish the deal” https://t.co/huVlNm6rf4— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) January 20, 2018
Though Trump had tweeted they were "making progress" after the meeting, he backed away from the deal, Democrats said.
"There was virtually a deal, a comprehensive agreement, between Chuck Schumer and the president, and he walked away from it after he talked to his hard right," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., after a Friday evening meeting with fellow Democrats before the vote.
The White House said in a statement issued just moments before midnight, when the shutdown became almost certain, that there would be no negotiations with Democrats on immigration at all until they agree to keep the government open.
“Senate Democrats own the Schumer Shutdown,” Sanders said in a press release. “Tonight, they put politics above our national security, military families, vulnerable children, and our country's ability to serve all Americans.”
The Senate is expected to reconvene at noon on Saturday as they seek a new deal.