President Donald Trump has blamed the Democratic minority in Congress for three shutdowns of the federal government this year alone, but there was a time not so long ago that he would have held himself responsible for that turn of events.
Back in the fall of 2013, when Barack Obama oversaw a 17-day shutdown of federal agencies in a battle with congressional Republicans over raising the debt ceiling, the then-real estate mogul and host of “The Apprentice” took the president to task in an interview on “Fox & Friends.”
“If you say who gets fired, it always has to be the top,” Trump told co-host Elisabeth Hasselbeck when she asked, “Apprentice”-style, who should get fired and bear the brunt of the responsibility for a shutdown.
“Problems start from the top and they have to get solved from the top. And the president’s the leader,” Trump said, in reference to Obama. “He’s got to get everyone in a room and he’s gotta lead. But he doesn’t do that.”
The future Republican president noted that the impasse between Obama and the GOP-led Congress was “a very, very bad thing and it’s very embarrassing worldwide.”
Elsewhere in the interview with what has become his go-to news network, Trump said that historians are “going to be talking about … who the president was at that time. They’re not going to be talking about who was the head of the House, the head of the Senate, who’s running things in Washington.”
However, President Trump has argued that Democrats — who are in the minority in both the House and Senate — “now own” the shutdown on Friday at midnight of multiple federal departments and agencies.
Both chambers failed to reach a compromise after the president flip-flopped on signing a temporary funding bill that did not include $5 billion for his proposed wall along the southern U.S. border.
In an earlier televised meeting with Democrat Chuck Schumer, the Senate minority leader, Trump had said, “I will take the mantle of shutting it down … I am proud to shut down the government for border security.”
Watch the 2013 video clip above.