The president attacked Democrats while CBP agents stood behind him.
President Donald Trump, with US Customs and Border Protection agents surrounding him during a mostly substance-free Fox News interview with Sean Hannity, made the federal employees — working without pay due to the shutdown — seem a bit like props.
The irony, of course, is that Democrats have been accused of politicizing federal employees, hundreds of thousands of whom will being missing their paychecks on Friday.
With agents all around him, Trump’s points were overtly political; attacking Democrats for denying his demand for $5.7 billion for a border wall he promised Mexico would pay for.
“It’s not a money thing. It’s a political thing,” Trump told Hannity of Democrats’ insistence that government reopen before border money is negotiated. “They look at the 2020 race and they’re not feeling too good about it — they will do whatever they can to win.”
Trump’s Hannity interview wasn’t the first time he used CBP agents as props this month — he pulled a similar stunt during an appearance in the White House briefing room on January 3. And hours before the Hannity interview aired, Trump posted a video in which he stood, again surrounded by CBP agents, and made a case for his border wall.
From the Southern Border…. pic.twitter.com/Vgsf5nEZUH
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2019
While Trump praised CBP agents during the interview, he seemed less concerned about the hundreds of thousands of federal employees who are now missing paychecks because of the shutdown. Toward the end of the interview, Hannity had to go out of his way to remind the president that “I know you’re