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Government shutdown: Trump blames Democrats, after being proud to take blame

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Now that a government shutdown appears to be imminent, President Donald Trump is trying to shift responsibility.

In a tweet on Friday, just hours before the federal government is set to enter a partial shutdown, the president attempted to point a finger at Democrats for the standoff over border wall funding.

“The Democrats now own the shutdown!” the president said.

That sentiment is vastly different than Trump’s declaration during a meeting with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi at the White House just 10 days ago. In that meeting, Trump put the possibility of a shutdown entirely on his shoulders.

“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck, because the people of this country don’t want criminals, and people that have lots of problems, and drugs pouring into our country,” Trump said. “So I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it — the last time you shut it down, it didn’t work. I will take the mantle of shutting it down. And I’m going to shut it down for border security.”

Trump’s about-face comes less than 14 hours before the government is set to run out of funding. A solution to avoid a shutdown and keep the government open until February 8 sailed smoothly through Senate on Wednesday, but Trump’s sudden change of heart has pushed the government back to the brink.

Read more: Trump urges Mitch McConnell to use ‘nuclear option’ to pass border wall funding in morning tirade about likely government shutdown»

After pushback from conservative TV pundits and the hardline House Freedom Caucus, Trump decided not to support the short-term continuing resolution, or CR, since it did not include money for his long-promised wall along the US-Mexico border.

The House then added an amendment to the CR on Thursday that would allocate $5.7 billion in additional border security funding, but the revised bill is likely dead on arrival in the Senate.

The president is set to huddle with Senate GOP leaders at the White House on Friday morning to try and find a way forward.

Trump’s flip-flop on blame also comes after numerous polls found that the American people do not want a government shutdown over a border wall. An INSIDER poll found that 60% of people would not tolerate a shutdown over the issue.

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