he's so fucking stupidIf the government shuts down on Friday, President Donald Trump’s television habits may be partly to blame, according to two White House aides.
The president began the day on Thursday by blasting out a tweet that threatened to derail a GOP legislative package designed to keep the government open, arguing that the Children’s Health Insurance Program, known by its acronym, CHIP, “should be part of a long-term solution, not a 30-day, or short-term, extension.” But that is precisely the package House Speaker Paul Ryan was trying to persuade skeptical Republicans to agree to in order to keep the government open.
The Ryan deal had been discussed at length on "Fox & Friends," the president’s favorite morning television program, in the hour before he sent the missive — and the aides immediately suspected that something on the program had prompted it. They also pointed to Trump’s frustration over the comments made by his chief of staff, John Kelly, in a Fox News interview Wednesday evening, to explain his seemingly random eruption.
The president, with his tweet, increased the likelihood of a government shutdown with the push of a button, sending Republican congressional leaders, already scrambling for votes, into chaos, and White House staff careening to correct the record.
Within hours, a spokesman for the president, Raj Shah, said that Trump does, in fact, support a short-term resolution to fund the government, but not before putting the House vote at risk and pushing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to begin making contingency plans for a shutdown.