WASHINGTON - U.S. Democratic leaders charged Monday that President Donald Trump was “plunging the country into chaos” with multiple crises and said he was offering no way to end a government shutdown.
Nancy Pelosi, who takes over next month as House speaker, and Chuck Schumer, the top Democrat in the Republican-led Senate, complained that White House aides were giving inconsistent messages on what Trump would accept to restart the government.
“It’s Christmas Eve and President Trump is plunging the country into chaos,” the two said in a joint statement.
“The stock market is tanking and the president is waging a personal war on the Federal Reserve — after he just fired the secretary of defense,” they said.
They warned that they saw little solution to the three-day-old shutdown so long as Trump aligns himself with hard-right Republicans in the House of Representatives.
“The president wanted the shutdown, but he seems not to know how to get himself out of it,” they said.
Trump has refused to sign a bill to authorize spending to keep the government functioning as he demands funding for a $5 billion wall on the Mexican border, a top election promise as he railed against unauthorized immigrants.
Trump has put off vacation plans in Florida due to the shutdown and has been frequently posting his thoughts on Twitter.
On Monday he attacked the Federal Reserve, which is traditionally shielded from political pressure, over a sharp downturn on the stock market and defended his decision to pull all U.S. troops from Syria, which led to the resignation last week of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, often considered the most respected member of his Cabinet.