US shutdown: National press see a defeat for Donald Trump


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US President Donald Trump has relented to political pressure and ended the longest government shutdown in history.

He had vowed to reject any deal unless it included $5.7bn (£4.3bn) to fund his signature campaign pledge, a US-Mexico wall.

The three-week agreement Mr Trump signed however does not include this.

Even outlets sympathetic to the US president have seen it as a blow. Here’s our round-up.

The New York Times

The NYT led its coverage of Friday’s news with: “Trump backs down, ending longest shutdown in US history.”

Its White House correspondent writes that “for a president consumed with winning”, this was a “stinging defeat”.

The paper also looked at where conservatives stood on the story, reporting that some feel Mr Trump had caved in.

The left-leaning US newspaper has been a frequent target of Mr Trump, who has called its writers “gutless” and the newspaper as “phony” on numerous occasions.

The Washington Post

The paper’s website has a frozen ticker, highlighting how Mr Trump’s impasse with Democrats ended after exactly 34 days, 21 hours and 18 minutes.

Coverage on some of the 800,000 federal workers affected by the five-week closure features prominently.

In a video about a food kitchen for federal workers, some express relief but also fear they may be held “hostage” again in three weeks’ time.

Washington Post writers argue that Trump may be a “prisoner of his own impulse”.

“Elected as a self-proclaimed master dealmaker and business wizard… Trump risks being exposed as ineffective,” one article said.

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Fox News

The TV channel, a long favoured outlet of Mr Trump, leads its coverage by saying government is “back in business” but also reports that the president’s approval rating has gone to one of its lowest, with 37% approval and 58% disapproval.

The Fox News politics editor, however, said that the president has not “started to eat into his base” but cautioned that Mr Trump cannot risk looking like he is “capitulating” in his demand for a border wall.

It included Mr Trump’s tweets appealing for understanding, but also featured stinging criticism from conservative commentator Ann Coulter.

Breitbart News

The right-wing news outlet, which was propelled into the national stage with Mr Trump’s election, has not shied away from the unfavourable coverage of Mr Trump’s decision.

Its front page said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had “rubbed it in” by signing the bill with eight pens, which she later gave as souvenirs to her colleagues.

Breitbart also reports that at least 30,000 illegal border crossings are expected in the next three weeks that there is no secured funding for a proposed US-Mexico wall.

They calculated this figure based on Department of Homeland Security data from earlier time periods.

It also reported on Monday’s arrest of 110 Central Americans, who scaled an existing border wall into the US.

USA Today

This outlet took a different view from Breitbart, saying Ms Pelosi “was careful not to gloat”.

Overall consensus is that this is a resounding victory for her, after she stood her ground against Mr Trump’s demand for money towards a wall.

USA Today’s main story focuses on how the president’s relationship with Ms Pelosi “changes everything in Washington”, and how “no one should underestimate her”.

It also rounds up conservative backlash against Mr Trump, including from blogger Mike Cernovich who said he was disgusted and did not like being lied to about the wall.

Source : BBC


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