President Donald Trump seems to be sending mixed signals when it comes to negotiations on ending a government shutdown.
On Saturday morning, the president tweeted out a dichotomy of attitudes regarding the shutdown, which began because he refused to sign any funding legislation that didn’t include funds to extend a border wall between the United States and Mexico.
In the first half of a tweet he sent out, Trump seemed eager to start talks with Democrats on the matter.
“I am in the White House waiting for the Democrats to come on over and make a deal on Border Security,” Trump wrote in his tweet.
Yet in the second half of that statement, Trump lashed out at Democrats.
“From what I hear, they are spending so much time on Presidential Harassment that they have little time left for things like stopping crime and our military!”
Trump’s dueling rhetoric seemed to match much of his behavior from earlier in the week. On Friday, for instance, Trump issued a number of tweets threatening to seal off the border entirely — as well as cutting off aid to a number of Central American countries — unless he got his proposed border wall, according to reporting from the Hill.
— The Hill (@thehill) December 28, 2018
Throughout the day, however, Trump also took on a more negotiable tone, suggesting he could waver on the exact dollar amount needed for a wall, as well as what structure the wall itself could take.
The impasse originally came about when a deadline for a continuing resolution to fund the government was missed a week ago. The Republican-led Senate had passed a bill that would have kept the government open until at least February, with the presumption that more negotiations could continue during that time. But, per reporting from USA Today, Trump abruptly rejected that resolution and reinstated his demands for $5 billion to pay for an extended structure on the southern U.S. border.
The House of Representatives, currently led by the Republican Party, narrowly passed a bill with those demands included. The Senate, needing at least 60 votes to defeat a filibuster, was unable to do the same, and subsequently, parts of the government were shut down.
Initially, the shutdown didn’t do much damage to federal workers or Americans dependent on the services they provide. Coinciding with the Christmas holiday, many of those workers had taken off work anyway. But as previous reporting from the Inquisitr noted, as more time passes, the harmful effects of the shutdown are likely to be felt, including on farmers who are expecting payments to help them during the “trade wars” with China that are hurting their paychecks.
There is no end in sight presently for the end to the stalemate, and many political observers have pointed out that Trump is set to lose what little leverage he had on the issue once Democrats take control of the House on January 3.