President TrumpDonald TrumpRobert Gates says 'extreme polarization' is the greatest threat to US democracy Cassidy says he won't vote for Trump if he runs in 2024 Schiff says holding Bannon in criminal contempt 'a way of getting people's attention' MORE on Friday sought to blame Democrats for the impending government shutdown, despite saying last week he would be “proud” to trigger a shutdown if border wall funding was not included in a year-end spending bill.
“Shutdown today if Democrats do not vote for Border Security!” he tweeted.
Shutdown today if Democrats do not vote for Border Security!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018
The president fired off a series of warnings on Twitter as the Senate prepared to vote on a stopgap spending bill that includes more than $5 billion in wall funding, the amount the president initially requested. The House passed the measure on Thursday.
In separate messages, Trump urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellHoyer signals House vote on bill to 'remove' debt limit threat Biden signs bill to raise debt ceiling On The Money — Progressives play hard ball on Biden budget plan MORE (R-Ky.) to fight “as hard as he fought for anything” to secure wall funding, including ending the legislative filibuster.
“Mitch, use the Nuclear Option and get it done! Our Country is counting on you!” he wrote.
Mitch, use the Nuclear Option and get it done! Our Country is counting on you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018
The spending bill needs 60 votes to pass the Senate, which Republicans control by a 51-49 margin. Trump has repeatedly called on McConnell to end the filibuster, but the Senate leader has rejected the idea.
The president said, however, that if Senate Democrats block the measure as promised, it “will be a Democrat Shutdown!”
“The Democrats, whose votes we need in the Senate, will probably vote against Border Security and the Wall even though they know it is DESPERATELY NEEDED. If the Dems vote no, there will be a shutdown that will last for a very long time. People don’t want Open Borders and Crime!” he added.
Senator Mitch McConnell should fight for the Wall and Border Security as hard as he fought for anything. He will need Democrat votes, but as shown in the House, good things happen. If enough Dems don’t vote, it will be a Democrat Shutdown! House Republicans were great yesterday!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018
The Democrats, whose votes we need in the Senate, will probably vote against Border Security and the Wall even though they know it is DESPERATELY NEEDED. If the Dems vote no, there will be a shutdown that will last for a very long time. People don’t want Open Borders and Crime!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018
The president's latest comments come less than 24 hours before the deadline for Trump and Congress to agree to a spending deal to avert a government shutdown.
Chances of a shutdown skyrocketed on Thursday when the president reneged on a Senate spending deal that would have funded the government through Feb. 8, but did not include wall money. Senate Democrats have already threatened to block the House's new spending bill over the wall funding.
Trump's threat suggests Congress could be at an impasse for days, if not weeks, over his demand for wall funding. The likelihood the president will get $5 billion will dramatically decrease after the new year, when Democrats take control of the House.
Trump's message Friday stands in stark contrast to his tone in a contentious Oval Office meeting with Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerBiden's Supreme Court commission ends not with a bang but a whimper Hispanic organizations call for Latino climate justice in reconciliation Senate to vote next week on Freedom to Vote Act MORE (D-N.Y.) and House Minority Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiSen. Ron Johnson hoping for Democratic 'gridlock' on reconciliation package Virginia race looms as dark cloud over Biden's agenda Biden struggles to rein in Saudi Arabia amid human rights concerns MORE (D-Calif.) in which he said he would own any shutdown over border security.
“I am proud to shut down the government for border security,” Trump told the Democratic leaders. “I will take the mantle. I will shut it down, I’m not going to blame you for it.”
Tal Axelrod contributed.
--Updated at 8:24 a.m.