Top US Democratic leaders have blasted President Donald Trump for plunging the country into chaos after shutting down parts of the government during Christmas time.
Senate Leader Charles Schumer (N.Y.) and House Leader Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) issued a joint statement blasting Trump for “plunging the country into chaos” before Christmas, pointing to a sharp plunge in the stock market amid the government shutdown.
In a joint statement after markets closed, the Democratic leaders said, “It's Christmas Eve and President Trump is plunging the country into chaos. The stock market is tanking and the president is waging a personal war on the Federal Reserve — after he just fired the Secretary of Defense.”
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis offered his resignation after Trump announced his decision to pull US troops out of Syria,
Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plummeted by 653 points Monday in the worst day of trading on Christmas Eve in history.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq dropped by large percentages, as well.
Prices for US crude oil dropped by nearly 7 percent to an 18-month low.
Analysts say that Trump's warning to the Federal Reserve Chairman appears to have exacerbated the market volatility.
Trump indicated that he's looking to fire Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.
Washington, meanwhile, is mired in a standoff over Trump’s demand for $5 billion to build a border wall, which triggered a government shutdown on Saturday that is expect to last until later this week or even the early part of 2019.
“Instead of bringing certainty into people’s lives, he’s continuing the Trump Shutdown just to please right-wing radio and TV hosts,” Schumer and Pelosi said in their joint statement.
The Democratic leaders say talks on reopening the government have stalled in part because of conflicting signals on what Trump would accept as a compromise to fund federal agencies.
“Different people from the same White House are saying different things about what the president would accept or not accept to end his Trump Shutdown, making it impossible to know where they stand at any given moment,” Schumer and Pelosi said.
“The president wanted the shutdown, but he seems not to know how to get himself out of it,” they added, accusing the president of being beholden to the most inflexible Republicans in Congress.
In a meeting with top Democratic leaders in the Oval Office earlier this month, Trump said he would be "proud" to take the blame for a shutdown over the border wall.
“I am proud to shut down the government for border security,” Trump said.
Trump warned the top Democratic leaders that the partial government shutdown would continue until his demands for government funding for the border wall were met.