Donald Trump is pouting and throwing a tantrum and refusing to even tell his own party what he wants, and as a result, the Republicans are on the verge of having to shut down the government. Trump, as of Thursday at least, wanted Congress to pass a continuing resolution, while still leaving everyone in the dark about what he wants included in it. That’s led to such frustration that Trump’s own Department of Defense has posted a statement slamming his antics.
Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs Dana W. White posted this to the official verified “Chief Pentagon Spokesperson” account on Twitter on Thursday: “We have been working under a #ContinuingResolution for three years now. Our current CR expires tomorrow, 19 Jan. This is wasteful and destructive. We need a fully-funded #FY18budget or face ramifications on our military.” This is extraordinary, because the Department of Defense is currently run by Trump’s own handpicked Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
As of the end of day Thursday, the tweet still hasn’t been deleted, which suggests that this wasn’t a unilateral post, and Trump’s own Pentagon has indeed taken the public position that he’s screwing things up. The tweet was so remarkable that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer retweeted it, as a way of making clear that Trump truly is responsible for bringing the entire federal government to the verge of a grinding and irresponsible halt.
It’s still far from clear what Donald Trump is doing, or why, when it comes to the potential government shutdown. He’s been in a tailspin since he tanked a bipartisan meeting about immigration with a profane racist meltdown. Since that time he’s rejected every proposal that’s been put forth. On Thursday morning he posted a tweet which seemed to reverse his own position. Now even the military is officially and publicly calling out his antics. In response, Trump has announced plans to leave for Mar-a-Lago on Friday afternoon so he can play more golf.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report