“We are getting crushed!” President Donald Trump said while recently watching coverage of the government shutdown, according to the New York Times

By Adam Carlson
January 17, 2019 08:48 AM
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A Wednesday report in The New York Times paints a contradictory of President Donald Trump‘s position in an ongoing shutdown of the federal government: publicly unbowed but, at times, privately dismayed.

“We are getting crushed!” he said while recently watching coverage of the shutdown, according to the paper.

“Why can’t we get a deal?” he reportedly wondered.

The Times story is the latest article to illustrate the stalemate inside the White House, which is at the center of a shutdown begun on Dec. 22 over Trump’s insistence for a southern border wall.

He claims such a barrier is needed to stave off a “crisis” of drugs, violence and human trafficking. Newly empowered Congressional Democrats, arguing they were elected as a check on Trump, have dismissed this as immoral and ineffective.

The shutdown, at 27 days, is the longest in American history. It has left some 800,000 federal employees without pay — and there is no clear end in sight.

As the Times detailed Wednesday, Trump feels a border wall fight will, over time, become a signal memory for voters and move them to his side. He has previously said that compromising on border security now and not pressing for a wall would betray his conservative base.

According to the Times, Trump has not ruled out declaring a “national emergency,” which would legally free him to act in certain ways without Congressional approval. But any appropriation of funds to start building a wall would almost certainly be challenged in court.

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Polling is another issue, as it shows Trump continues to bear the brunt of the blame for the government closing. His approval rating is now underwater by a margin of about 14.5 points, according to an average of approval polls by FiveThirtyEight.

“The partial government shutdown is beginning to drag on President Trump,” the site’s editor, Nate Silver, wrote Wednesday.

Most recently Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she would essentially cancel the customary State of the Union address to Congress, scheduled for Jan. 29. She told Trump in a letter this week: Either reschedule the speech, given the shutdown, or deliver it in writing instead of on TV.

The president has not been swayed so far, this week blasting “radical Democrats.”

“They want nothing to do with the major Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border,” he tweeted Wednesday.

Pelosi, too, was tweeting. She replied to him on Tuesday: “Stop holding the paychecks of 800,000 Americans hostage. There is no reason for them to be suffering right now. Re-open the government!”