White House advisers have counseled President Donald Trump to stay out of public view after the government shutdown began on Jan. 20.
However, the president is reportedly “itching” to be a part of the impasse.
“You kind of want, by your lack of presence, to highlight this being a case of congressional incompetence, as opposed to presidential incompetence, and how you do that is by carefully managing your appearances. The more he appears in public, the more this becomes a Trump problem,” stated John Feehery, a prominent Republican strategist.
According to The Washington Post, Trump is advised to keep a low profile so as to not get branded as the face of the shutdown.
“Privately, some of his closest advisers admit the president is an erratic dealmaker who can unexpectedly overturn negotiations like a flimsy coffee table,” the Post added.
Chief of Staff John Kelly, director of legislative affairs Marc Short, budget director Mick Mulvaney and other administrative aides have reportedly advised Trump not to appear too eager to strike a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY).
So, what exactly is the president doing during the shutdown?
The White House has released a series of official photos, in a bizarre attempt to prove he has been working all along.
Trump has reportedly been watching TV coverage on the government shutdown and has, miraculously, managed to refrain from forming incendiary opinions regarding the matter on Twitter.
Trump has, however, reportedly boasted he’s handling the crisis better than the 2013 Obama-era shutdown.
At the time, Trump said presidents deserve the blame for a shutdown and that indicates a failure of leadership.
Does this mean Trump has failed?
When you’re the President and your party controls both Houses, only the most minimal level of competence is needed to keep the government open. #TrumpShutdown— Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 20, 2018
Thumbnail/Banner Credit: Reuters/ David Becker