White House Says Pictures Show Trump 'Hard at Work' to Avoid Government Shutdown—Critics Aren't so Sure

Pictures released by the White House show Trump in the Oval Office on January 20, 2018. White House

The White House released pictures apparently showing President Donald Trump hard at work at his Oval Office desk to resolve the government shutdown.

On the anniversary of his inauguration Saturday, Trump spent the day working rather than at a planned celebration with allies and supporters at his Mar-a-Lago Florida resort.

One picture shows Trump at his desk wearing a baseball cap with a Make America Great Again slogan, another shows him striding through a White House corridor, and another laughing with key aides, including his daughter, Ivanka Trump, and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Critics on Twitter pointed to the staged apperance of the Oval Office picture. 


The GOP said the photographs demonstrated the president’s determination to end the impasse, which saw the federal government grind to a halt at midnight on Friday as Republicans and Democrats failed to agree a budget.

The two sides have not reached an agreement over the status of children brought into their country as undocumented migrants by their parents. The Democrats say that an agreement to protect the “dreamers” must be part of a deal, but Republicans say a deal can be struck once the spending bill is agreed.

Trump on Sunday called for Senate Republicans to change the chamber's rules to resolve the funding impasse—the so-called "nuclear option"—and thus remove leverage for Democrats.

"Great to see how hard Republicans are fighting for our Military and Safety at the Border. The Dems just want illegal immigrants to pour into our nation unchecked. If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51% (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget, no C.R.'s!" Trump tweeted.

Hours later, a spokesman for majority leader Mitch McConnell said the Republican conference was opposed to the nuclear option.

A second Senate vote has been scheduled for early Monday morning to avert a government shutdown as federal employees return for the new working week.