Donald Trump did not know what a government shutdown was — or the effects it would have — before triggering the federal shutdown last month, a new report claims.
The partial government shutdown has stretched over more than two weeks after Trump abruptly changed course in late December. After initially signaling to congressional leaders from both parties that he would sign a measure to temporarily fund the government, Trump vetoed the measure and demanded more than $5 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Many critics called the move impulsive, and a pair of reports from the Washington Post seem to back that assertion.
As New York Magazine noted, the reports cited sources claiming that Trump — and members of his administration — did not know exactly what would happen after triggering the shutdown, and failed to grasp the wide-reaching effects it could have as it stretched on.
“The administration did not realize that 38 million Americans lose their food stamps under a shutdown, nor did it know that thousands of tenants would face eviction without assistance from the Department of Housing and Urban Development,” the report asserts.
The report claimed that it was only this week that Trump administration officials came to learn the breadth of the shutdown’s impact, and are now focused on fully understanding the consequences — and what they can do to intervene.
“First Trump shut down the government, and then the Trump administration started looking into what effect this would have,” the report alleged.
Donald Trump had shown little willingness to budge from his demand for border wall funding, even threatening to declare a state of emergency in order to secure the funding himself. Democrats have been equally entrenched in their stance to deny any funding for the border wall, with many pressing Trump on previous campaign promises that he would make Mexico pay for the wall.
"First Trump shut down the government. Then his administration started looking into what effect that would have."— Democratic Coalition (@TheDemCoalition) January 7, 2019
Tell the Senate #NoWall, pass the House spending bills, end the #TrumpShutdown, and re-open the government here: https://t.co/uqr0DalG2m https://t.co/xIegQkN1hX
But Donald Trump has also shown a greater sense of urgency in recent days, even announcing that he would make a statement to Americans during prime time television on Tuesday, January 8, where he is expected to publicly make his case for border wall funding. As Time reported, the major television networks have not yet committed to showing his address, but are in deliberations. They have turned down such requests in the past, including passing on an address Barack Obama made in 2014 regarding executive actions he had taken on immigration.