President Donald Trump over the weekend largely stayed out of negotiations to reopen the federal government, tasking Republican and Democratic leaders in Congress with reaching a deal.
Trump left the negotiations to Congress at the direction of his advisers, who argued that Democrats were to blame for the shutdown and therefore Democrats needed to come around on an agreement to open the government, the Washington Post reported on Sunday. The President did speak with Republican leaders over the phone to strategize, the New York Times reported, but he mostly refrained from weighing in on the negotiations publicly, save for a few tweets blaming Democrats for the shutdown.
Instead of inserting himself into the negotiations, Trump spent much of the weekend glued to his television. On Saturday, he watched old clips of him criticizing President Barack Obama during the 2013 shutdown, a White House aide told the New York Times. Throughout the weekend Trump watched the cable news coverage of the shutdown and offered critiques to his aides who went on television to blame Democrats for the shutdown, according to the Washington Post.
Indeed, Trump tweeted praise for Fox News on Sunday night, presumably while watching his favorite cable news network.
Thank you to Brad Blakeman on @FoxNews for grading year one of my presidency with an “A”-and likewise to Doug Schoen for the very good grade and statements. Working hard!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2018
On Sunday, Trump did not leave his private residence on the third floor of the White House, according to CNN. From there, he called some Republican leaders in Congress, urging them to reach a deal with Democrats to open the government, per CNN.
Though he ultimately kept a low profile, Trump told aides that he was concerned he would be blamed for the shutdown and wondered if he should be working to end it, per the Washington Post. In an attempt to show that he was working hard during the shutdown, the President posed for a photo of him on the phone in the Oval Office on Satueday, wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat.