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

White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyTrump says he may lower corporate tax rate to 20 percent if reelected Is Social Security safe from the courts? On The Money: House panel pulls Powell into partisan battles | New York considers hiking taxes on the rich | Treasury: Trump's payroll tax deferral won't hurt Social Security 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 TrumpIvanka Trump, Jared Kusher's lawyer threatens to sue Lincoln Project over Times Square billboards Facebook, Twitter CEOs to testify before Senate Judiciary Committee on Nov. 17 Sanders hits back at Trump's attack on 'socialized medicine' 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 SchumerChuck SchumerTrump announces opening of relations between Sudan and Israel Five takeaways on Iran, Russia election interference Pelosi calls Iran 'bad actor' but not equivalent to Russia on election interference 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.