Donald Trump is reportedly isolated and alone as he has driven away top advisers and steered the federal government into a shutdown, spending most of his time hiding out in his residence and watching more television than ever.
Trump is being widely blamed for the federal government shutdown that started at the stroke of midnight on Saturday, which came as he demanded that Congress provide funding for his border wall. Earlier in the week, Trump had signaled that he would keep the government open by signing a temporary funding measure that allowed the negotiations on the wall to continue. But he abruptly changed course, refusing to sign the bill after Democrats and Republicans had come together to pass it.
The pressure of the situation appears to be getting to the president. As a new a report from the New York Times noted, Trump is lashing out at his aides as his staff continues to shrink while also retreating back to his comforts in life.
“He spends ever more time in front of a television, often retreating to his residence out of concern that he is being watched too closely. As he sheds advisers at a head-spinning rate, he reaches out to old associates, complaining that few of the people around him were there at the beginning.”
“Now, the president who once declared that ‘I alone can fix’ the system increasingly stands alone in a system that seems as broken as ever.”There were signs this week that Trump’s television-watching habits were affecting his policy decisions. Many said it was Fox News and other conservative media figures that influenced Trump to go back on his early signals and shut down the government, noting that Trump was being heavily criticized on some of his favorite programs, including Fox & Friends. Trump has been known to adjust his policy stances based on what he hears on Fox News, at some points even making declarations on Twitter that directly oppose the White House’s official stance.
Donald Trump will now have even more time to spend in his White House residence watching television. Amid the government shutdown, the White House announced that Trump had canceled his planned 16-day Christmas vacation at his Mar-a-Lago resort, remaining in Washington until the shutdown is averted. That could take quite a while longer, as Senators have gone home for the holiday and will not be back on Capitol Hill until December 27.