The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

In a brief Christmas Day session with reporters in the Oval Office, President Trump said the federal government will remain shut until Congress agrees to fund his proposed border wall.

“I can’t tell you when the government is going to reopen,” he said during a photo op of his holiday video calls with soldiers serving abroad. “I can tell you it’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they’d like to call it. I’ll call it whatever they want. But it’s all the same thing. It’s a barrier from people pouring into our country.”

Asked whether he retains confidence in Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell following December’s historic stock selloff and market decline, Trump said, “Well, we’ll see. They’re raising interest rates too fast, that’s my opinion. But I certainly have confidence. But I think it’ll straighten. They’re raising interest rates too fast because they think the economy is so good. But I think that they will get it pretty soon, I really do.”

Reporters also inquired whether he has confidence in Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who urged Trump to appoint Powell — and whose calls last Sunday to major bank executives, intended to reassure them, were blamed for the market plunge on Monday.

“Yes I do,” replied Trump. “Very talented guy, very smart person.”

He also insisted that federal employees furloughed without pay — many of them facing economic hardship — actually support his insistence that Congress appropriate $5 billion for the border wall. “Many of those workers have said to me, communicated — stay out until you get the funding for the wall,” Trump said. “These federal workers want the wall.”

But federal union leaders ridiculed that claim. “Federal employees should not have to pay the personal price for all of this dysfunction,” Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, told the Washington Post. “This shutdown is a travesty. Congress and the White House have not done their fundamental jobs of keeping the government open.”

 

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Patrick Orlando

On top of his expanding legal troubles, former President Donald Trump’s finances have evidently taken a hammering, as a blank-check company looking to acquire his embattled social media platform changed its address to a mailbox at a UPS store.

Keep reading... Show less

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}