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Esme Cribb

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Esme

President Donald Trump mimics Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s accent when discussing the deployment of U.S. military resources in Afghanistan, the Washington Post reported on Sunday.

The Washington Post reported, citing unnamed senior administration officials, that Trump “has been known” to imitate an Indian accent and refer to Modi’s remark during a meeting last year that no country has ever “given so much away for so little in return” as the United States has with regard to Afghanistan.

The White House did not immediately respond to TPM’s questions about why Trump might feel the need to imitate Modi’s accent during discussions of unrelated policy.

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President Donald Trump on Monday claimed that Democrats “have shut down our government” because they “are powerless” to resist the demands of their base.

“They don’t want to do it but are powerless!” Trump tweeted.

He claimed that Democrats “are turning down services and security for citizens in favor of services and security for non-citizens.”

“Not good!” he tweeted.

Trump also quote-tweeted a post from Sunday where he urged Senate Republicans to change the chamber’s rules and “go to 51% (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget.”

As the government shutdown continued for a third day on Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders blamed both Democratic and Republican lawmakers for “not paying attention” to what Trump wants from funding negotiations.

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Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Sunday blamed President Donald Trump’s inability to “take yes for an answer” and strike a deal with Senate Democrats to solve the ongoing government shutdown.

Schumer said he “essentially agreed to give the President something he wants in exchange for something we both want” during a meeting on Friday.

“The President picked a number for a wall,” Schumer said, referring to Trump’s proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border. “I accepted it.”

After meeting with Trump on Friday, Schumer said that he floated the idea of funding the wall in exchange for continued protection for undocumented immigrants covered by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Schumer on Sunday said his accord with Trump “was only tentative, no handshakes,” and ultimately did not prevent the government shutdown.

“It all really stems from the President, whose inability to clinch a deal has created the Trump shutdown,” Schumer said. “He can’t take yes for an answer. That’s why we’re here.”

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House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) on Sunday said the House will pass a short-term spending bill to keep the government funded through the first week of February if the Senate manages to pass it.

“We’ve agreed that we would accept that in the House,” Ryan said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” “And so we will see sometime today whether or not they have the votes for that.”

Asked whether he plans to run for reelection in 2018, Ryan said, “I’m not going to share my thinking with you before I even talk to my wife.”

“I have no plans of going anywhere anytime soon,” he added.

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Sunday pushed back on President Donald Trump’s suggestion that Senate Republicans should change the chamber’s rules to pass a long-term spending bill with 51 votes if negotiations remain fruitless.

“The Republican Conference opposes changing the rules on legislation,” a spokesperson for McConnell told TPM in an email.

Trump on Sunday urged Senate Republicans to “go to 51%” if negotiations regarding the ongoing government shutdown remain in a stalemate.

Meanwhile, the White House blamed Senate Democrats for the shutdown, while Democrats blamed Republicans, who control both chambers of Congress and the White House, for their failure to strike a deal.

This post has been updated.

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The White House and members of Congress on Sunday each blamed the other for the ongoing government shutdown, amid a conspicuous lack of negotiations two days in.

The White House blamed Senate Democrats.

“I had no idea that the Democrats in the Senate were this dysfunctional,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

Marc Short, the White House director of legislative affairs, claimed on ABC News’ “This Week” that “Democrats are forcing the shutdown.”

Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) blamed the White House.

“They hammered out an agreement and Chuck Schumer made major concessions,” Durbin said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press,” referring to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY). “Within two hours the White House called and said the deal is off.”

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), on the other hand, said on CNN, “I think the blame game is ridiculous on both sides.”

Paul on Friday night voted against a short-term spending bill that would have kept the government open for three weeks.

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President Donald Trump on Sunday pushed for Senate Republicans to use the “nuclear option” and change the chamber’s rules to pass a spending bill with a simple majority if congressional deadlock continues while the government is shut down.

“If stalemate continues, Republicans should go to 51% (Nuclear Option) and vote on real, long term budget, no C.R.’s!” Trump tweeted.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) on Saturday said that Trump had “not called” him to negotiate.

“They say they’re not negotiating. That’s foolish,” Schumer said. “We haven’t heard from them.”

Also on Saturday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced that the Senate will vote Monday at 1 a.m. on a short-term spending bill that would fund the government for three weeks.

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President Donald Trump promised last week to campaign for Republican members of Congress after House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) warned him that the political landscape is not in their party’s favor, the Washington Post reported Sunday.

The Washington Post reported, citing unnamed White House officials, that McCarthy explained the political landscape to Trump in a slide presentation while the President was at Camp David last weekend. According to an unnamed official cited in the report, McCarthy warned Trump of potential outcomes ranging from a scenario where Republicans lose control of the House to another where Republicans maintain control but lose seats.

Amid a wave of impending Republican retirements, most recently including Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), and Trump’s own approval ratings, which are at a historic low for a president barely finished with his first year in office, Republicans are taking up a defensive position.

“We are going to have a very challenging cycle,” Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK) told reporters last week. “There’s no question the majority’s at risk.”

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Rep. Mia Love (R-UT) on Sunday said President Donald Trump’s remarks about Haiti and African nations are “indefensible.”

“I can’t defend the indefensible. You have to understand that there are countries that do struggle out there, but their people, their people are good people. And they’re part of us. We’re Americans,” Love, whose parents are from Haiti, said on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Trump called Haiti and African nations “shithole countries” while meeting with lawmakers. According to the New York Times, Trump also asked, “Why do we want people from Haiti here?”

While Trump claimed his reported remarks were “not the language used,” he did not specifically address what language he did use during the meeting.

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Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO) on Sunday said there is “no question” that President Donald Trump’s remark insulting Haiti and African countries “was racist.”

“There’s no question what he said was un-American and completely unmoored from the facts,” Bennet said on NBC News’ “Meet the Press.” “I was raised not to call people racist on the theory that it was hard for them to be rehabilitated once you said that, but there’s no question what he said was racist.”

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Trump referred to Haiti and African countries as “shithole countries” during a meeting with lawmakers.

“Why do we want people from Haiti here?” Trump said, according to the New York Times.

Trump on Friday claimed he did not say “anything derogatory about Haitians” and that his reported remarks were “not the language used,” but did not specifically address reports that he named “shithole countries.”

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