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Donald Trump

Donald Trump’s Christmas lament: ‘I am all alone (poor me) in the White House’

  • As the US government shutdown hit a third day, an angry US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to air his many grievances
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 25 December, 2018, 3:11am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 25 December, 2018, 3:49am

An angry US President Donald Trump complained on Monday that he was “all alone” in the White House as the US government shutdown hit a third day, even plunging the nation’s main Christmas tree into darkness.

With Congress out of town and the debate over Trump’s demand for a US$5 billion US-Mexico border wall at an impasse, the president sat holed up, tweeting no less than 10 times by early afternoon to lash out at opponents and reject responsibility for a plummeting stock market.

“I am all alone (poor me) in the White House,” tweeted Trump, who had to delay his annual Christmas holiday in Florida because of the crisis in Washington.

Trump said he was “waiting for the Democrats to come back and make a deal on desperately needed Border Security.”

Trump attacks Fed as ‘the only problem’, and US markets plummet again

However, the Democrats – and some Republicans – have made clear they will not vote for Trump’s cherished border wall. In retaliation, Trump is refusing to sign a broader spending bill, triggering a stand-off that has left swathes of the US government temporarily without funding.

Outside the White House, Washington’s National Christmas Tree became a forlorn symbol of the dysfunction gripping Trump’s presidency two years after his surprise election.

The National Park Service tweeted that the tree would remain unlit and closed to the public “until further notice”, with checks being made for damage following an attempt by an intruder on Friday to climb the tree.

The parks service is one of the many federal institutions suffering from the funding suspension.

The budget stand-off could drag on into January, when the new Congress is seated, including a House controlled by Democrats. Negotiations, however, were planned for Thursday, offering a glimmer of hope of resolution.

Trump made a Mexico border wall one of his main campaign promises and the idea is popular with many Republicans backing the president’s message that illegal immigration is out of control.

Democrats and some Republicans in Congress oppose the plans as impractical, unnecessary and fuelling xenophobia against Central Americans.

The government shutdown adds to uncertainties spooking global stock markets after a tumultuous week in which respected Defence Secretary James Mattis resigned and the president stepped up attacks on the supposedly independent chairman of the Federal Reserve.

On Monday, in a session shortened for Christmas Eve, the Dow Jones dropped more than 650 points, or 2.9 per cent.

But Trump, who has repeatedly taken credit for good days on the markets, blamed the Fed for the growing sense of disarray.

Last week, the central bank hiked rates, infuriating Trump, who has ignored a traditional respect for the Fed’s independence, calling it “crazy”, “out of control” and a greater economic threat than China.

In a tweet Monday, Trump compared the Fed to a blundering golfer “who can’t score because he has no touch – he can’t putt!”

In other tweets, Trump praised Saudi Arabia for pledging money to rebuild Syria (“Thanks to Saudi A!”), denied lashing out at acting Attorney General Matt Whitaker (“This is a made up story, one of many, by the Fake News Media!”), and took another swipe at his newly departed defence secretary James Mattis for failing to worry about the financial cost of maintaining military alliances (“We are substantially subsidizing the Militaries of many VERY rich countries all over the world”).