Donald Trump, Keep America Great, rally
President Donald J. Trump speaking with supporters at a "Keep America Great" rally in Phoenix, AZ. Photo credit: adapted by WhoWhatWhy from Gage Skidmore / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

On Wednesday night, Donald Trump took to his social media platform to call on Republicans to shut down the government unless they manage to defund the criminal investigations into his alleged theft of classified documents, obstruction of justice, and efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

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Among Donald Trump’s most audacious lies, which is saying something, is that he pretends to put everybody else’s needs ahead of his own. Mind you, there is no evidence to support this. To the contrary, the “billionaire” has his supporters pay his massive legal bills, and he and his family profited off his presidency in numerous ways, just to name a couple examples.

Now, however, he wants to take his “Me First” approach to another level.

On Wednesday night, he took to his social media platform to call on Republicans to shut down the government unless they manage to defund the criminal investigations into his theft of classified documents and the associated charge of obstruction of justice, as well as his efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

“A very important deadline is approaching at the end of the month. Republicans in Congress can and must defund all aspects of Crooked Joe Biden’s weaponized Government that refuses to close the Border, and treats half the Country as Enemies of the State,” Trump wrote. “This is also the last chance to defund these political prosecutions against me and other Patriots. They failed on the debt limit, but they must not fail now. Use the power of the purse and defend the Country!”

This is classic Trump.

The first part of the statement makes no sense at all, but it addresses something Republicans are concerned about, i.e., border security. Obviously, shutting down the government would do nothing to make the border safer. In fact, it would likely achieve the opposite.

Trump also appeals to his supporters’ sense of persecution, which he and right-wing media have been cultivating for years. Without specifics, Republicans, starting with the former president, and the conservative propaganda machine, starting with Fox News, have made GOP voters believe that “they” are out to get them and destroy their way of life.

Then we get to the key part of this post… defunding the efforts to hold Trump to account. It is laughable to think that this would ever be included in any continuing resolution or government funding deal, but at this point, with the former president facing 91 charges across four criminal cases, he will try anything to make his legal troubles go away.

Even if that means hurting countless Americans… because that is what every government shutdown inevitably does.

All nonessential agencies would shut down, which means that millions of government employees would no longer get their paychecks and have to stop their work on everything from making sure that food and medicines are safe to overseeing workplace safety. National parks would close, and food assistance to families in need will be delayed.

In addition, any shutdown also does great harm to the economy overall, which hurts every American.

However, to Trump, that is a small price to pay if it means that he can escape accountability for his actions.

Because, in the end, everything the former president does is self-serving in some way, even if he pretends to make it sound otherwise.

And, if you know that, then you also realize that, when Trump says “defend the country,” he really means “save my butt.”


  • Klaus Marre

    Klaus Marre is a senior editor for Politics and director of the Mentor Apprentice Program at WhoWhatWhy. Follow him on Twitter @KlausMarre.

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