President Trump did respond to a question about avoiding a government shutdown earlier Friday.
“I think we’re in good shape,” Trump said, per a White House pool report sent to PoliticusUSA. Trump said, “We have a good chance of getting (health care) soon. I’d like to say next week, but I believe we will get it and whether it’s next week or shortly thereafter.”
“As far as keeping the government open, I think we want to keep the government open,” Trump said Friday. “So, yeah, I think we’ll get both.”
Why does Trump think “we’re in good shape?” And that he will get his healthcare bill and keep the government open? Sean Spicer can’t tell you why, exactly. Just that they are sure.
In an off-camera press gaggle with Press Secretary Sean Spicer Friday in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, Major Garrett asked what was the source of Trump/Spcier’s confidence that there will not be a government shutdown.
Here’s the transcript from the White House press secretary as sent to PoliticusUSA:
Q What’s the source of your confidence that there will not be a shutdown?
MR. SPICER: Strong.
Q No, the source.
MR. SPICER: The source?
Q From what does it — why are you so confident? What is it that you’re seeing or hearing in the back-and-forth that gives you confidence? Because yesterday, there seemed to be a chill brought into negotiations introduced by the OMB Director and the request for specific allocations either for the border wall or some limitation on sanctuary cities. And that seemed to create a hostile response from some of the people who are not just in the Democratic Party, but are the key negotiators with House and Senate Republicans.
MR. SPICER: So you heard Director Mulvaney yesterday saying a shutdown is never desired and neither is it a strategy, and I think we echo that. We feel confident. We’ve been working with House and Senate leadership, and our goal is to continue to do what’s necessary to fund the government.
Major Garrett with the hard truths:
Q Right, but is it your goal in that process to obtain the President’s spending cut priorities and spending allocation priorities, or avoid a shutdown? Right now you can’t do both.
MR. SPICER: Well, I don’t necessarily — I think we’ve made it very clear that we want border wall funding, we want greater latitude to deny federal grants to sanctuary cities. We want hiring of immigration agents, and we want $30 billion to infuse the military budget. Those are our priorities.
That being said, I don’t think it’s synonymous with — we’ll continue to negotiate and work with the leadership. But no one wants a shutdown, we want to keep it going. And I get the question, but I think we’ve talked about what our priorities are. We’re working with members on both sides of the aisle in both chambers to find a way forward. But I think we feel confident that that will happen, that we will avoid a shutdown.
Here Garrett asks if Trump will let his agenda take a back seat in order to save the country:
Q And if push comes to shove and your priorities have to take a backseat, they will?
MR. SPICER: We’re working with House and Senate. Our goal now is — we’ve laid out our priorities and we’re committed to not having a shutdown. So I don’t know how easier to put it.
Every hour or so, the take on any given story of the day will change based on who you ask in the Trump administration.
A recent example went something like this: They did warn North Korea, they didn’t warn North Korea how dare you accuse them of doing so, isn’t Donald Trump the best ever for being so tough with North Korea!?, OMG the ships are going the wrong way, well we never said we were warning North Korea, that’s just more fake news.
So now they are confident they will avoid a government shutdown, but they don’t seem willing to give up their agenda to get it and while they say they were talking to House and Senate leaders, it’s also been reported that the Senate budget committee is not working on Trump’s healthcare plan.
So… that’s not good shape. That’s the opposite of good shape.
The ships are heading in the wrong direction!
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.