President Donald Trump tells aides, allies that Democrats caused the government shutdown, ‘but that he will be blamed’ for it

The federal government shut down at midnight on Friday, January 19, 2018. Senators continued to scramble to reach a deal to fund the government.

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is telling aides and allies that the Democrats caused the government shutdown, “but that he will be blamed” for it, according to a source close to the White House.

Trump has tweeted multiple times since the shutdown began that it was the fault of Democrats for letting it happen.

A CNN poll out before the government shut down on Friday showed that about half of Americans said they would blame either Trump (21%) or congressional Republicans (26%). About a third, 31%, said they would hold Democrats responsible.

Trump and his representatives have labeled the impasse the “Schumer shutdown” after Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, but the New York Democrat was quick to cast blame at the President, calling it “the Trump shutdown” on the Senate floor.

The President spoke with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell this morning and plans to talk to leaders as negotiations continue, according to White House legislative director Marc Short.

White House chief of staff John Kelly is at the White House making phone calls and reaching out to members of Congress, while Short and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney are on Capitol Hill meeting with congressional leaders.

A senior White House official expressed doubt that a deal would be cut Saturday. The official noted that it is possible that there might be meetings at the White House Saturday on the shutdown, but that had not been decided yet.

The battle lines are entrenched in this through Sunday night,” the official said.

The source close to the White House told CNN that the White House believes Schumer will press for some concessions for “a few days if that long” as they work to strike a budget deal.