One year to the day after taking office with vows to bring the dysfunction of Washington to heel, President Donald Trump on Saturday found himself thrust into the most perennial of political crises
Trump had planned to spend the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida, celebrating his first year in office at a soiree with friends and supporters.
Instead, he remained out of sight in the White House, where he stewed about an impasse he had been unable to prevent, according to people close to him, and held a feverish round of conversations with Republican leaders in search of a resolution.
“This is the One Year Anniversary of my Presidency and the Democrats wanted to give me a nice present,” he wrote on Twitter before dawn. By afternoon, the president’s trip had been shelved as aides contemplated with dread the potential practical and political impacts of shuttering the government.
Inside the White House, Trump, who has styled himself the ultimate deal-maker, remained remarkably disengaged from the complex process of hammering out a politically palatable deal that could provide a way out of the morass.
Senior advisers counseled him to do less, not more negotiating, arguing that the shutdown was a political problem that Democrats had created for themselves, and had to find their own way to resolve.
But Trump, a highly reactive personality who detests headlines questioning his leadership — like those that dominated cable TV throughout Saturday, during coverage of the shutdown and women’s marches throughout the country denouncing his presidency — felt stymied and wanted somehow to intervene, according to one presidential adviser.
It fell to John F. Kelly, his chief of staff, to haggle over the details with Republican leaders.
The immediate cause of the shutdown, which began at 12:01 a.m. Saturday after Senate Democrats blocked consideration of a House-passed stopgap measure, was a dispute over spending.
But it was a stalemate over immigration policy, the topic that propelled Trump’s political rise, that snarled the negotiations, as the president vacillated over what approach he should take and advisers including Kelly counseled a harder line.This article originally appeared in The New York Times. One year to the day after taking office with vows to bring the dysfunction of Washington to heel, President Donald Trump on Saturday found himself thrust into the most perennial of political crises Read Full Story