According to The New York Times, Donald Trump was earning $200,000 per year by age three thanks to his share of the family business. By the time he was eight, he was a millionaire. “In his 40s and 50s, he was receiving more than $5 million a year,” the Times reports.
Yet, President Trump claims that he understands the difficulties furloughed federal workers are facing as they deal with missing paychecks due Trump’s government shutdown now heading into its third week.
Trump was asked by NBC‘s Kelly O’Donnell outside the White House this morning:
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“Mr. President, can you relate to the pain of federal workers who can’t pay their bills?”
“I can relate,” the president answered. “And I’m sure that the people that are toward the receiving end will make adjustments, they always do. And they’ll make adjustments. People understand exactly what’s going on.”
A man who has never had to live paycheck to paycheck is demonstrating his contempt for the actual day to day problems of struggling federal employees who face food, housing, and medical bills that they can’t pay without the benefit of the fat trust fund bank accounts that Trump has had his whole life.
They can’t set up shell companies to declare pain-free bankruptcies and protect any property they have from their creditors. They can’t stiff contractors after the work has been done without facing consequences that will destroy their credit ratings for the rest of their lives. They can’t convince DeutschBank to break protocol and lend them money despite a lack of creditworthiness. They have no money streaming in from Russian mobsters and oligarchs.
“The people that are toward the receiving end will make adjustments, they always do” is Trump’s “let them eat cake” moment — a complete disconnect from the everyday reality of ordinary Americans that truly shows how little the entitled president cares about the damage his petulant insistence on getting his way no matter how much it hurts other people is causing.
As bad as Trump’s answer to the reporter’s question was, he made it worse with his next comment.
“Many of those people that won’t be receiving a paycheck, many of those people agree 100 percent with what I’m doing,” Trump, who undoubtedy conducted an imaginary poll within his own mind, said.
While it’s typical for Trump to make fanciful claims with no evidence whatsoever, in this case, there is hard evidence that he pulled this one straight from between his buttocks. Polls show that 72 percent of Americans oppose the shutdown and Trump’s approval rating has fallen two percent since the shutdown began, falling to levels not seen since he called the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville “very fine people.”
With Transportation Security Administration employees who staff the screening stations at the nation’s airports already reportedly calling in sick so they can seek temporary work that will actually generate a paycheck, Trump is undermining the very goal he claims is behind his push for a border wall by reducing border security.
“Most of us live paycheck to paycheck and cannot afford to be unpaid and still go to work for long. It is not fair,” a Transportation Security Administration official told HuffPost.
Despite the obvious hardships for federal employees that Trump is arrogantly minimizing with his contemptuous comments, the president is still being intransigent in his insistence on keeping the government closed until he extorts the money for his inadequate and costly solution to the nation’s immigration issues, saying that he could keep everything shuttered for “months or even years.”
It will take substantial public pressure on Congressional Republicans to reopen the government. First to convince Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to even bring up the already passed House legislation restoring government funding for a vote. Then to convince enough Republicans to override Trump’s expected veto and restore sanity to a process broken by a president intent on undermining every aspect of our democracy as we’ve known it until now.
You can see the president in action as he answers the question from NBC‘s Kelly O’Donnell in the video clip below.
My question to the president, “Can you relate to the pain of federal workers who can’t pay their bills?” Pres. Trump:”I can relate…”. Watch: pic.twitter.com/WJCBHZQ15x
— Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) January 6, 2019
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