The White House is now using its comment line to launch a false partisan attack on Democrats.
After the government shut down this weekend, all nonessential federal services were suspended. But lies and partisan spin from the Trump administration kicked into high gear.
This weekend, callers to the White House comment line noticed an interesting new voicemail message had been placed on the machine.
"Thank you for calling the White House," the recording says. "Unfortunately, we cannot answer your call today, because congressional Democrats are holding government funding, including funding for our troops and other national security priorities, hostage to an unrelated immigration debate. Due to this obstruction, the government is shut down."
This is outrageously inappropriate. Not only is government equipment being used to essentially disseminate a partisan political attack ad, but the underlying claim that congressional Democrats are blocking funding for our troops is the complete opposite of what happened.
First, the shutdown happened because of Trump, not Senate Democrats. Republicans promised a vote to protect DREAMers from deportation would happen this month if a deal was reached. A bipartisan group led by Sens. Dick Durbin and Lindsey Graham was doing just that, and their deal included major border security provisions Trump asked for, but then Trump said no anyway and blew the whole thing up.
Second, Democrats are the only ones who have tried to protect members of the military from the effects of the shutdown. Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill introduced a bill to guarantee military pay, and Mitch McConnell blocked a vote on it.
Republicans are understandably silent on this. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer slammed McConnell for talking from both sides of his mouth, saying, If theres pride of authorship, let him offer a resolution! We wont block it; well applaud it, and his challenge was never answered. Meanwhile, when reporters asked White House budget director Mick Mulvaney to explain why Republicans are blocking troop pay, he had no response.
Compare this with the 2013 shutdown, when President Barack Obama made sure our service members were paid on time something Republican leaders are ludicrously trying to deny even happened.
We as a nation have truly fallen down the rabbit hole when even the White House answering machine is lying to us. Our men and women in uniform deserve better than to have their economic security reduced to a political game by their own commander in chief.