President Donald Trump privately told confidants that a government shutdown could benefit him politically, according to a new report.
Trump has reportedly asked several friends about the effects of a government shutdown and how it would benefit him politically, according to The Washington Post. He also said that he would plan to blame the hypothetical shutdown on the Democrats, who are pushing for the new funding bill to include protections for undocumented immigrants.
The president told advisers that he wants to appear tough on immigration as a way to appease constituents upset with his outreach to Democrats, according to The Washington Post.
Congressional Republicans have already stated that they wish to avoid a shutdown, instead hoping to work with Democrats to pass legislation in the upcoming months.
"When you run for office and you get elected and you are given the opportunity to govern, it strikes me as a bad idea to shut the government down," said Sen. John Coryn of Texas. "That seems like an abdication of responsibility."
White House aides, including Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short, said that the president is not pushing for a shutdown.
"He’s not advocating for a shutdown in any way. We want to make sure our military is funded. We want to make sure our priorities are funded. That’s why we invited [Democrats] over to have a conversation about a deal," said Short.
Trump tweeted that he doesn't believe a compromise is possible only hours before an expected meeting with GOP congressional leaders Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, according to The Hill.
"Meeting with 'Chuck and Nancy' today about keeping government open and working," Trump tweeted on Nov. 28. "Problem is they want illegal immigrants flooding into our Country unchecked, are weak on Crime and want to substantially RAISE Taxes. I don’t see a deal!"
Schumer and Pelosi pulled out of the meeting, instead choosing to talk with other Congressional Republicans about how to avoid a shutdown.
The current spending plan, which was passed in September, is set to expire Dec. 8. Democrats are pushing for the new funding bill to include protections for undocumented immigrants who came to the country as children, commonly known as "dreamers."
Republicans, on the other hand, want the new plan to include more funding for border enforcement.
In May, Trump said that a "good shutdown" would "fix" the mess in government.