With Christmas 2018 now a memory, Trump appears to have ditched the holiday lights for a familiar brand of gaslighting that hinges on three key subjects: the (nonexistent) border wall on the US' southern border with Mexico, "obstructionist" Democrats and the "Fake News Media". Or, more concretely, he would refuse to fund the federal government until congressional Democrats agreed to appropriate upwards of $5 billion for his border wall (even though the Republican Senate had already signaled that it was willing to fund the government without such an appropriation, and Democrats would only need to wait a matter of days before they assumed control of the House).
With "non-essential" operations at numerous agencies shut down for lack of funding and Congress adjourned until next week, Trump was in the White House firing off angry tweets. "But the more we're hearing this week is that it's Nancy Pelosi who's preventing that from happening", he said, alleging that if Pelosi "cuts a deal with the president of any sort before her election on January 3rd she's at risk of losing her speakership, so we're in this for the long haul".
Incoming White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney claimed there was a split between Sen.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador reacted cautiously to Trump's threat to close the border, calling it an "internal affair of the USA government". The President has requested $5 billion to pay for the wall.
A spokesman for U.S. Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on Thursday that Republicans and Democrats were still very far apart in efforts to resolve the partial government shutdown, which started on Saturday.
According to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday, 47 per cent of Americans hold Trump responsible for the shutdown, while 33 per cent blame Democrats in Congress. Speaking on Fox News, he tried to drive a wedge between Democrats, pinning the blame on Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
"Everyone agrees that what we can and should be building on that southern border is that steel barrier that the president tweeted out".
More journalists killed in 2018
The June 28 shooting at the Capital Gazette newsroom is the most deadly mass shooting with journalist deaths in the U.S.to date. China continued to be the world's biggest jailer of journalists , with 60 now detained in the country according to the report.
Democrats brushed off the White House's attempt to cast blame.
Democrats will not consider any offers that have not been publicly endorsed by Trump himself, he said.
"We take great care of the relationship with the government of the United States", Lopez Obrador said.
He said Pelosi will soon face a vote on becoming House Speaker and she does not want to be seen as caving to Trump's demands.
As a result, he said, "we will be cutting off all aid" to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, impoverished, often unsafe countries where American assistance aims to boost democracy, human rights, education and security.
Trump has threatened to close the border in October and November over a caravan of about 4,000 people from Central America who were traveling to the border.