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.”

 

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Trump flags wave on the morning of the Jan. 6, 2021 pro-Trump Capitol insurrection.

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos

There aren't many polling questions these days that draw 90 percent-plus agreement, but Americans are united by one central idea: They believe the country should remain a democracy.

Keep reading... Show less

Close