Trump Denies 'Chaos' in White House Amid Shutdown, Insisting 'Almost Nobody' Is Left 'But Me'
With both the Senate and the House having adjourned until Monday, President Donald Trump claims to be one of few government officials in D.C. this weekend
“I just watched a Fake reporter from the Amazon Washington Post say the White House is ‘chaotic, there does not seem to be a strategy for this Shutdown. There is no plan,’ ” Trump, 72, tweeted on Saturday, without indicating where he saw the report. “The Fakes always like talking Chaos, there is NONE. In fact, there’s almost nobody in the W.H. but me, and I do have a plan on the Shutdown.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request to clarify who is currently in the White House with the president.
With both the Senate and the House adjourned until Monday and a new spending bill nowhere in sight, Trump doubled down on his claim that there’s one clear solution to the shutdown: for the new Democratic House of Representatives to give in to his demands to provide funding for his proposed southern border wall.
Trump tweeted that “to understand” his plan, “you would have to understand the fact that I won the election, and I promised safety and security for the American people. Part of that promise was a Wall at the Southern Border. Elections have consequences!”
Philip Rucker, the White House bureau chief at the Washington Post, went on to say that Trump’s latest tweets about the shutdown appeared to be in response to Rucker’s appearance on NBC’s Today Saturday morning.
“It seems the president was watching @PeterAlexander, @kwelkernbc and me talk on @TODAYshow this morning about the lack of a strategy in the White House to end what is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history,” he tweeted.
Trump went on to reiterate his previous claim that the border wall is necessary to end a “Humanitarian Crisis.”
“We have a massive Humanitarian Crisis at our Southern Border,” he wrote on Saturday. “We will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their ‘vacations’ and get back to work. I am in the White House ready to sign!”
Trump’s claim regarding the “crisis” is highly disputed. While more unaccompanied children and families have recently come to the border, the total number of illegal immigrants crossing from Mexico is historically low.
Trump also shared on Saturday that should the Democrats change their mind about funding the border wall, the shutdown could end in a matter of minutes.
“Democrats could solve the Shutdown in 15 minutes!” he wrote, adding in a separate tweet that “I am in the White House waiting for you.”
There have been a number of high-profile exits from the Trump administration in recent months. In December, the president announced that both his Chief of Staff John Kelly as well as U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke would be leaving their positions.
In November, Attorney General Jeff Sessions resigned from his post.
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With negotiations regarding the border wall fruitless so far, Trump is considering declaring a national emergency to get the wall built if lawmakers won’t approve the necessary funds, according to The New York Times.
“Probably I will do it. I would almost say definitely,” Trump said on Thursday when asked if he’d make such a move, the Times reported.
While a national emergency would provide some legal framework for his administration to freely move funds toward construction of a barrier, it would almost certainly face court challenges.
Approximately 800,000 government employees have been affected by the partial government shutdown, which began on Dec. 22.
The government closure became the longest in American history on Saturday as it reached 22 days, surpassing the previous record of 21 days in the ‘90s, under President Bill Clinton.
Earlier this month Trump said the funding freeze could last for months — “even years.”