As Donald Trump keeps the government shut down for the 25th straight day on Tuesday, insisting that Congress grant $5.7 billion for the "border wall" that he promised during the 2016 presidential campaign, and declaring himself "not interested" in a compromise bill presented by Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Monday, as The Guardian reported, a person identifying himself or herself as a "senior Trump official" revealed what may be the true purpose of the shutdown — and it's not about a border wall.
The "official" published an anonymous op-ed on Monday on the conservative news site The Daily Caller — a site founded by Fox News host Tucker Carlson — and in the essay, revealed that the actual purpose of the shutdown is to "achieve lasting disruption" of the United States government.
"The lapse in appropriations is more than a battle over a wall. It is an opportunity to strip wasteful government agencies for good," the anonymous op-ed writer stated, complaining that a full "80 percent" of all government employees do "nothing of external value" and are "saboteurs." The "senior Trump official" claimed that "due to the lack of funding, many federal agencies are now operating more effectively from the top down on a fraction of their workforce, with only select essential personnel serving national security tasks."
As Talking Points Memo noted, it is unclear how "senior" the "senior Trump official" actually is, because the op-ed's author claims to be one of the federal workers who continues to work without being paid due to the shutdown.
But as the Associated Press reported, most "senior political officials" continue to be paid during the shutdown, though they may not receive scheduled pay raises as long as the government remains closed.
The op-ed writer's claim that federal agencies are now operating "more effectively" thanks to cutbacks forced by the shutdown also appears dubious. For example, Transportation Security Administration workers have not received paychecks, and as a result, many have simply called in sick to work, causing excessively long lines at airport security checkpoints, according to a CNN report, with waits up to an hour-and-half at Atlanta's busy Hartsfield-Jackson airport.
But there may be even another ulterior motive to the shutdown, according to the Daily Caller op-ed's anonymous author — to punish Democrats and other political opponents of Trump. "I hope a long shutdown smokes out the resistance," the author wrote.