As the government shutdown began on Saturday morning, President Trump took to Twitter to make sure the American people know that the blame rests squarely with Democrats for deciding to “play shutdown politics” when they “could have easily made a deal.”

The government shut down at midnight, after the Senate failed to pass a funding bill that the House had passed on Thursday.

In the meantime, he turned the current debacle into a campaign slogan for the 2018 midterm elections, according to a report in The Hill.

“Democrats are far more concerned with Illegal Immigrants than they are with our great Military or Safety at our dangerous Southern Border,” Trump tweeted on Saturday morning. “They could have easily made a deal but decided to play Shutdown politics instead. #WeNeedMoreRepublicansIn18 in order to power through mess!”

Negotiations over votes on the bill stalled due to immigration issues. The Democrats demanded strong protections for so-called “Dreamers” in the bill, protecting illegal immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) tweeted early Saturday that he offered to put funding for Trump’s proposed U.S.-Mexico border wall on the table in exchange for Democrat demands. He said he thought he had reached a deal with the president, but claims that Trump walked away from a deal.

Schumer said that Trump’s actions on Friday made it seem he was “rooting for a shutdown.”

The White House on Friday night slammed Democrats for putting “unlawful immigrants” ahead of the military and other urgent funding needs, calling them “obstructionist losers, not legislators.”

“We will not negotiate the status of unlawful immigrants while Democrats hold our lawful citizens hostage over their reckless demands,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. “When Democrats start paying our armed forces and first responders, we will reopen negotiations on immigration reform.”

Trump pointed out on Saturday morning that Republicans “need 60” votes in the Senate in order to avoid future obstruction of his legislative agenda. The Republican Senate majority is currently 51-49, not enough to pass most legislation on a strict party-line vote.

But the Senate vote for the Trump-backed continuing resolution, which would have kept the government running for another four weeks, was not a party-line vote. Five Democrats voted for the bill, while four GOP senators voted against it.

Leaders have called for ongoing negotiations with the White House over the weekend, in hopes of reopening the government by Monday.

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