Before the press and public recognized President Donald Trump’s habit of constant lying, claims made under the guise of “many people are saying” and “that’s what I’ve heard” were prevalent in then candidate Trump’s campaign speeches. Now that people are aware, Trump rarely goes for such phrases in his claims.
But to defend his decision to renege on his vow to GOP leadership to support Congress’ stopgap spending bill to keep the federal government fully operational, the President went back to that well.
A portion of the federal government that had not had their fiscal year 2019 budget approved was operating on a continuing resolution authority (CRA). That CRA expired December 21 at midnight.
Republicans in the House and Senate together with their Democratic colleagues supported a new CRA to keep the government running until February while the final budgets were approved.
One agency with no budget is the Department of Homeland Security. Rather than keep his promise to GOP leaders and sign the new CRA, Trump decided to make a stand.
No wall, no CRA.
That means the people who secure the border and enforce immigration laws are not getting paid.
But rather than take responsibility for his decision to not pay them, Trump first attempted to solely blame Democrats, despite the GOP still controlling the Senate and House until January. After that excuse received pushback, the President decided to claim the almost 800,000 federal workers who spent Christmas furloughed without pay or working without pay pushed for the government shutdown because his wall is that important to them.
On Christmas day while speaking to reporters, Trump stated:
“Many of those workers have said to me and communicated, ‘stay out until you get the funding for the wall.”
Trump claims that “many” federal workers want the government to stay closed: “Many of those workers have said to me, communicated, stay out until you get the funding for the wall. These federal workers want the wall.”
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) December 25, 2018
Trump says federal workers he’s spoken to want the Gov closed for the wall.
— Abby D. Phillip (@abbydphillip) December 25, 2018
His remarks came after the President lamented how his family was all in Palm Beach at Mar-a-Lago while he was stuck at the White House. Trump added:
These federal workers want the wall. The only one that doesn’t want the wall are the Democrats.”
Poor grammar aside, many saw an issue with Trump’s latest claim to justify his decision to deny wages and benefits to almost 800,000 federal employees during the holidays and that “the only one” who does not want his wall “are the Democrats.”
The President went on to state:
“I can’t tell you when the government is going to be open. It’s not going to be open until we have a wall, a fence, whatever they would like to call it.”
Trump rounded out his Christmas greeting to the country by adding:
“It’s a disgrace what’s happening in this country. But other than that, I wish everybody a merry Christmas.”
Watch his remarks here.
President Trump: “Many of those workers have said to me, communicated, ‘Stay out until you get the funding for the wall.’ These federal workers want the wall. The only one that doesn’t want the wall are the Democrats because they don’t mind open borders.” https://t.co/CLtbYkaxrA pic.twitter.com/GDGJjmRf7N
— The Hill (@thehill) December 25, 2018
But people are calling the President out on his Christmas day claims.