The Slatest

White House Comments Line Blames Democrats for “Holding Government Funding … Hostage”

Police tape is seen on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House December 15, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Police tape is seen on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House December 15, 2017 in Washington, D.C. BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/Getty Images

It seems President Donald Trump’s administration is going all out in pinning the blame for the government shutdown on Democrats. Even the White House comments line is getting in on the public relations strategy, explaining to anyone who calls 202-456-1111 why there is no one there to take their call:

“Thank you for calling the White House. Unfortunately, we cannot answer your call today because congressional Democrats are holding government funding—including funding for our troops and other national security priorities—hostage to an unrelated immigration debate. Due to this obstruction, the government is shut down. In the meantime, you can leave a comment for the president at www.whitehouse.gov/contact. We look forward to taking your calls as soon as the government reopens.”

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The Trump White House restarted the comments line in February of last year after it had been shut off at the end of President Obama’s administration. The line is normally staffed by volunteers.

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The blame-Democrats recording on the comments line follows in Trump’s footsteps. The president took to Twitter on Saturday morning to blame Democrats for the shutdown, even using the hashtag #DemocratShutdown.

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Earlier, the White House press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, issued a statement blaming “obstructionist losers” for the shutdown. She proceeded to use the hashtag #SchumerShutdown, in reference to Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, in three additional tweets.

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