Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told CBS News’ “Face the Nation” that President Trump is ready to shut down the government again if a funding agreement can’t be reached in the next three weeks.
Just days after the president agreed to bring a temporary end to the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, a shutdown he infamously claimed “proud” ownership of in early December, Mulvaney was asked if Trump was prepared to enter yet another partial government shutdown in three weeks if his demands for funding on border security are not met by then.
“Yeah, I think he actually is,” Mulvaney told host Margaret Brennan. “He’s willing to do whatever it takes to secure the border.”
Mulvaney said that Trump “doesn’t want to shut the government down,” again implying that it would be Trump and not the Democrats who would be shutting the government down for a second time this year.
.@MickMulvaneyOMB says @realDonaldTrump is prepared to shut down the government again in 3 weeks:
“Yeah… he's willing to do whatever it takes to secure the border… He doesn't want to… Let's make that very clear. He doesn't want to declare a national emergency.” pic.twitter.com/2WyquTmf3X
— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) January 27, 2019
Later in the interview, Brennan asked Mulvaney why the president thinks “the outcome will be different in 21 days? Democrats remained largely unified. It was Republicans in the Senate who broke ranks.”
Mulvaney claimed that many Democrats “had come to us and said, you know what, we think you might be right on this barrier thing, but we cannot negotiate with you during a shutdown. We don’t like the fact that a president might use a shutdown as a negotiating tool, so if you open the government up, we’ll negotiate with you in good faith on a border barrier.”
Mulvaney added that Trump would “use a shutdown as a negotiating tool.”
Trump on Friday agreed to sign a continuing resolution to keep the quarter of the government that was unfunded running through Feb. 15. giving congressional leaders three weeks to hash out a long-term solution. The 35-day shutdown cost the US billions of dollars and placed extreme hardship on hundreds of thousands of Americans.