No talks, but plenty of Trump tweets as shutdown over Mexico border wall drags on

President Trump took to Twitter Sunday to beat a drum for the southern border wall that he wants so badly he’s willing to shut down parts of the U.S. government.

The federal shutdown entered into the record books Saturday, one day after 800,000 workers were forced to go without their paychecks. The U.S. government now has been partially shuttered for 23 days and counting.

The partial federal government closure began on December 22, after President Trump refused to back down from his $5.7 billion demand from Congress to build a vanity wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The shutdown has wrought havoc with the lives of thousands of federal workers and their families, and caused massive hardship on businesses that depend on receipts from government employees.

Trump has threatened that if he’s not given the money he’s demanding, he may declare a national emergency and reappropriate funds from the military or elsewhere in the government, a move that some lawmakers and legal scholars say would not be constitutional.

The shutdown is also beginning to take a political toll. A national poll released Sunday by The Washington Post and ABC News found that 53 percent of respondents blamed  Trump and Republican leaders for the shutdown, while just 29 percent blamed congressional Democrats, nearly a 2-1 margin against the president and his party.

Still, there has been little if any progress since the start of the shutdown and the principal interlocutors in Congress and the White House were not holding talks Sunday to try to break the stalemate.

Trump in his Sunday tweetstorm broached the subject of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program (DACA), which gives certain immigrants who came to the United States as children temporary work authorization and deportation relief.

“Democrats are saying that DACA is not worth it and don’t want to include in talks. Many Hispanics will be coming over to the Republican side, watch!” he wrote.

It was not clear, however, whether the president meant to raise the issue of their status to be a gambit to entice Democrats to the negotiating table. Trump tried to end the DACA program in September 2017, before being blocked in court.

As ThinkProgress reported just last week, the president has been all over the map in his demands for a border wall, the subject of untold political agita since he took office nearly two years ago.

In a television interview on Fox News late Saturday, the president returned to talking points, dating back to the early days of his presidential campaign, and insisting that Mexico “absolutely” will be footing the bill for construction of a barrier separating the two nations. Sort of.

This latest iteration of his ever-changing, whiplash inducing posture on whether or not Mexico will pay for his border wall was delivered on Fox News’ Justice with Judge Jeanine program.

Here’s how that part of their conversation went down:

“By the way,” he told host Jeanine Pirro, “Mexico is paying for the wall, because the trade deal is billions and billions of dollars better than the old NAFTA trade deal … Mexico is absolutely paying for the wall.”

The remarks reprised comments he made last week, insisting that the media had fabricated his comments on Mexico being on the hook to pay for the wall.

“I know the fake news likes to say it, when, during the campaign, I would say Mexico’s going to pay for it,” Trump told reporters last week.

“Obviously, I never said this, and I never meant they’re going to write out a check,” he said. “I said they’re going to pay for it. They are. They are paying for it with the incredible [trade] deal we made.”

But, as ThinkProgress reported last week, Trump’s vow that Mexico would pay for the wall was, in fact, a favorite talking point on the stump, repeated time and again at rallies and featured prominently in his campaign literature.

Source: thinkprogress