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Trump retreats from public view as government shutdown continues over border wall fight

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Washington • President Donald Trump remained out of public view Friday as the partial government shutdown reached the one-week mark, content material to factor threats by way of Twitter amid a seamless standoff with Democrats over border wall investment.

Since arriving again on the White House early Thursday from a surprise trip to Iraq, Trump has had no public occasions, and aides presented few information about his agenda, as opposed to pronouncing the president was once operating and making telephone calls.

In the night time, Trump left the White House for a brief journey to Vice President Mike Pence’s place of dwelling to enroll in him, performing leader of workforce Mick Mulvaney and senior White House adviser Jared Kushner for a non-public dinner.

At a time when maximum of Congress has left the town for the vacations regardless of the funds deadlock, Trump has emphasised his determination to cancel a deliberate holiday at his Mar-a-Lago lodge in Florida and stay in Washington. But he has selected to not use this time to have interaction in substantive negotiations over the funds or snatch the public degree and make his case for investment the border wall. Instead, he is crammed the silence with a rash of tweets that experience blamed Democrats for the shutdown and solid unlawful immigration as a danger to the rustic.

The president’s slightly low profile coincides with Republicans and Democrats digging in for a longer fight, with out a leap forward in sight. Trump’s allies on Capitol Hill mentioned the president remained in contact with GOP leaders, however they mentioned the one tangible talks Friday had been between rank-and-file participants of the 2 events.

Congressional leaders have stayed most commonly silent in fresh days.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., returned to their house states. Aides for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., declined to expose their whereabouts.

There was once an rising consensus Friday that there can be no deal prior to Democrats take keep watch over of the House on Wednesday, with Pelosi anticipated to turn out to be speaker, changing the stability of energy in Washington for the primary time in Trump’s presidency.

Trump first of all demanded $five billion for the wall, however the White House presented a deal for roughly part of that quantity. Democrats rejected it, refusing to head above $1.three billion in border safety investment that might no longer come with a wall.

“I do not see progress being made that would indicate Ms Pelosi is going to compromise before Jan 3,” Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., an in depth Trump best friend, mentioned in a textual content message to The Washington Post.

About 25 percent of the federal government has been shut down since Dec. 21, with more or less 800,000 employees affected, together with an estimated 350,000 who’re on furlough at house. The closure of federal companies marks the 3rd partial government shutdown this yr and the longest since employees had been furloughed for 16 days in 2013 right through the cheap deadlock when House Republicans sought to bring to a halt investment for the Affordable Care Act.

Trump declared 3 weeks in the past right through a White House assembly with Pelosi and Schumer that he can be “proud” to take duty for shutting down the government over investment for a border wall.

Since then, he has sought guilty Democrats, although he has spent little time right through the previous week looking to win over public sentiment. A Reuters/Ipsos ballot discovered 47 % of Americans hang Trump chargeable for the shutdown, when put next with 33 % who blame congressional Democrats.

Trump spoke in regards to the wall investment fight right through his consult with to U.S. troops in Iraq on Wednesday, however he has no longer made a public commentary about it since he returned, as opposed to on Twitter. He has introduced no plans to depart Washington to focus on his push for extra wall investment.

Trump visited San Diego in March to study border wall prototypes commissioned through the Department of Homeland Security, however he has no longer visited a Border Patrol station or U.S. port of access.

On Friday, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen launched into a two-day excursion of border stations in El Paso, Texas, and Yuma, Ariz., within the wake of the deaths of 2 migrant kids who had been detained through DHS after touring from Guatemala. One of the youngsters, Felipe Gomez Alonzo, eight, died on Christmas Eve. DHS officers didn’t allow journalists to accompany Nielsen on her visits.

Trump started his day Friday through renewing a couple of obscure threats he has made in the past to seal the U.S. border with Mexico to business and tourism and bring to a halt U.S. overseas assist cash to Central American countries.

“Either we build (finish) the Wall or we close the Border,” Trump wrote.

Yet the warnings had been inconsistent together with his management’s stance. Aides have mentioned final the border would motive an financial disaster, and the State Department final week introduced plans to direct $10.6 billion to Mexico and Central America to lend a hand cut back the waft of unauthorized immigrants to the United States.

Some White House allies mentioned the president was once passing up a possibility to set the phrases of the controversy at a time when his Democratic opponents have ceded the megaphone to him.

“One way for the White House to effectively refocus the debate would be to adopt more of a ‘show, not tweet’ approach,” mentioned RJ Hauman, government family members director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, which helps the border wall. “Go down to the border and let the brave men and women on the front lines personally tell the American people and Congress how effective border barriers are.”

During the 2013 government shutdown, President Barack Obama hired a number of messaging methods guilty Republicans and shield the health-care legislation, together with liberating a public letter to federal staff, maintaining a information convention on the White House, assembly with small-business house owners and accomplishing interviews with regional tv stations.

“This shutdown was completely preventable. It should not have happened,” Obama wrote in his letter. He thanked the federal employees for his or her carrier and added that the Republican-led House must no longer have attempted to “attach highly controversial and partisan measures” to the government investment invoice.

The House ultimately caved and handed a invoice with out the measures to strip health-care investment, after polls confirmed a majority of Americans blamed the GOP for the shutdown.

On Thursday, in a bid to ratchet up drive on Democrats, Trump wrote on Twitter of the furloughed federal employees that “most of the people not getting paid are Democrats,” with out providing proof.

Some Trump allies mentioned he has obviously articulated his case on border safety and that it was once Democrats who should shield their place after they take over the House.

“People need to be persuaded by the left in Congress, not by Trump,” mentioned Lars Larson, a conservative radio host primarily based in Portland, Oregon. “They said, ‘We will not negotiate.’ How do Americans, not just those in politics, view someone who says, ‘I am not negotiating?’ “

The Washington Post’s Seung Min Kim, Felicia Sonmez and Erica Werner contributed to this record.

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