Donald Trump Defiant in Face of Government Shutdown Criticism: 'Does Anybody Really Think I Won't Build the Wall?'

On Sunday, President Donald Trump hit back at critics who questioned his ability to deliver a proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall after the government reopened two days earlier.

Claiming success over the economy, energy, trade and more, Trump questioned how "anybody" could believe he wouldn't deliver his long-promised wall.

"After all that I have done for the Military, our great Veterans, Judges (99), Justices (2), Tax & Regulation Cuts, the Economy, Energy, Trade & MUCH MORE, does anybody really think I won't build the WALL?" he tweeted January 27. "Done more in first two years than any President! MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

On January 25, Trump announced a three-week continuing resolution to reopen the government after it was partially shuttered for five weeks. The bill does not include funding for the wall.

Trump angled for $5.7 billion for the wall during the shutdown and received fierce criticism for his tactics. The shutdown left hundreds of thousands of federal employees furloughed or working without pay. Many employees struggled to keep on top of mounting bills, and some turned to food banks to feed their families.

If a funding deal is not reached when the three-week resolution is up on February 15, Trump threatened to shut down the government again.

Several conservative commentators criticized the president for reopening the government without a deal on border wall funding. "Trump is a broken man. It's over for him," right-wing social media personality Mike Cernovich tweeted January 25.

After Trump tweeted the resolution was "in no way a concession," prominent conservative Ann Coulter responded, "NO MORE WORDS! Break ground today."

In an earlier series of tweets about the shutdown, Coulter said President George H.W. Bush, who passed away in November 2018, was "no longer the biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States."

Republican strategist Ford O'Connell told Reuters the president could well secure a funding deal before February 15, especially now that the shutdown is over. "He might take a short-term hit, but overall in the grand scheme of things it's not a big deal, as long as he is ultimately seen as committed to border security," he said.

But some prominent conservatives criticized the president for pushing for a border wall at all. Former Lieutenant Governor of Maryland Michael Steele told The Washington Post that Trump put federal employees "through hell for nothing," adding that building the wall had no "validity" on Capitol Hill.

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President Donald Trump at a meeting in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on January 25. Alex Wong/Getty Images
Donald Trump Defiant in Face of Government Shutdown Criticism: 'Does Anybody Really Think I Won't Build the Wall?' | U.S.