Trump budget director says Obama ‘weaponized’ shutdown and this time will be different

White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyMulvaney told Trump officials their 'highest priority' will be deregulation: Axios High stakes as Trump, Dems open drug price talks Trump declares national emergency at border MORE said Friday that if the government shuts down, it won’t be as bad as 2013 because the Obama administration did things to make that shutdown worse.

Mulvaney said “the Obama administration weaponized the shutdown in 2013” for political purposes by closing popular attractions like national parks. He claimed the Trump administration isn’t planning to do the same. 

“We're going to manage the shutdown differently. We're not going to weaponize it," the budget director told reporters at the White House. "We’re not going to try and hurt people, especially people who work for the federal government." 

Despite his pledge, Mulvaney struggled to name ways the shutdown would be different than 2013 — other than keeping parks open. 


The message appeared to conflict with President TrumpDonald John TrumpMcCabe says he was fired because he 'opened a case against' Trump McCabe: Trump said 'I don't care, I believe Putin' when confronted with US intel on North Korea McCabe: Trump talked to me about his election victory during 'bizarre' job interview MORE's claims in the past few days that the shutdown could have a devastating effect, especially for the military. 

Mulvaney said military personnel and border patrol agents would continue to report to work, but would not be paid. 

Before the government closed in 2013, Obama signed a law that ensured the military would be paid throughout the shutdown. Trump has signed no such legislation. 

The budget chief also said Post Office and the Transportation Security Administration workers would remain on the job, but they also did so five years ago.

The message appeared to conflict with President Trump's claims in the past few days the shutdown could have a devastating effect, especially for the military. 

The blame game was in full swing at the White House, just hours before government funding is set to run out. 

Mulvaney said his office is “preparing for what we are calling the Schumer Shutdown,” referring to Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerGOP Green New Deal stunt is a great deal for Democrats National emergency declaration — a legal fight Trump is likely to win House Judiciary Dems seek answers over Trump's national emergency declaration MORE (D-N.Y.). 

At the same time, the White House said Trump is working behind the scenes to help lawmakers strike a last-minute spending deal. 

Trump called bipartisan members of Congress on Friday morning and will continue to have conversations today, according to legislative director Marc Short. 

“There is no way you can lay this at the feet of the president of the United States,” Mulvaney said.  

The government will shut down after midnight without a new funding deal.