by WorldTribune Staff, August 24, 2017
President Donald Trump, who said in Phoenix on Aug. 22 that “if I didn’t have social media, I wouldn’t be here tonight,” returned to Twitter on Aug. 24 to again slam the “fake news” media, call out former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, and take GOP congressional leaders to task.
Trump’s tweets on Aug. 24:
“The Fake News is now complaining about my different types of back to back speeches. Well, there was Afghanistan (somber), the big Rally…(enthusiastic, dynamic and fun) and the American Legion – V.A. (respectful and strong). Too bad the Dems have no one who can change tones!”
“James Clapper, who famously got caught lying to Congress, is now an authority on Donald Trump. Will he show you his beautiful letter to me?”
“The only problem I have with Mitch McConnell is that, after hearing Repeal & Replace for 7 years, he failed! That should NEVER have happened!”
“I requested that Mitch M & Paul R tie the Debt Ceiling legislation into the popular V.A. Bill (which just passed) for easy approval. They … didn’t do it so now we have a big deal with Dems holding them up (as usual) on Debt Ceiling approval. Could have been so easy – now a mess!”
Clapper, now a CNN analyst, had gone on the network after Trump’s Phoenix rally to question the president’s “fitness” for office. Trump’s Twitter reference to “lying” referred to Clapper’s 2013 apology for telling Congress the NSA doesn’t gather data on millions of Americans. It’s unclear what letter Trump was referring to.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell had criticized the president for having “excessive expectations” about the legislative process, after Congress failed to repeal and replace Obamacare.
Trump repeatedly said he was “very disappointed in Mitch,” and the two reportedly had a “profane shouting match” over the phone on Aug. 9.
McConnell and Trump are set to speak for the first time since the call during the first week in September when Congress returns to Capitol Hill.
“We have a lot of work ahead of us, and we are committed to advancing our shared agenda together and anyone who suggests otherwise is clearly not part of the conversation,” McConnell said on Aug. 23.
Trump also warned this week that he would “close down” the federal government if Congress fails to pass a spending bill to pay for the U.S.-Mexico border wall.
“I don’t think a government shutdown is necessary, and I don’t think most people want to see a government shutdown, ourselves included,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said in response to the president’s warning, adding that the House already approved some funding for the wall but stressed that “more time” would be needed to implement the plan.
The White House said Trump expects Congress to provide the funding for the wall up front.
“We’re looking forward to working with Congress to get funding for the border wall,” White House spokeswoman Natalie Strom said in an email. “The president ran on it, won on it, and plans to build it.
Lawmakers are still trying to figure out whether there is a debt bill that can pass with only Republican votes in the House, or whether they will need to move a bill with bipartisan support that doesn’t contain any spending cuts.
A missed debt payment would have “negative rating implications,” according to Moody’s.
Rep. Tom Cole, Oklahoma Republican and member of the budget and appropriations committees, said in he and some other GOP lawmakers want the debt ceiling “tied to something that changes the trajectory of our debt.” But, Cole said, he expects the debt ceiling will be raised without his proposed changes.
“It is something like the Perils of Pauline,” he said. “In the end of the day, Pauline always survives.”