President Donald Trump is pinning blame for the acquittal of an undocumented man who was accused of killing a California woman on “weak” congressional Democrats and panning them for “trying to block” a GOP tax bill that ran into a $1 trillion iceberg late Thursday.
His public skewering of congressional Democrats comes just weeks before he will need some of their help to avoid a government shutdown during the first year of his presidency.
Trump started his usual morning Twitter routine by using the acquittal of a 45-year-old Mexican man, Jose Ines Garcia Zarate, in the July 2015 shooting death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco to advocate for his proposed southern border wall and lambaste Democrats over their immigration policies.
He also accused “Obstructionist Democrats” of trying to “block” a Senate Republican tax bill, a measure he contends is “getting better and better” despite a ruling to the contrary that has thrown its passage Friday into question. The plan’s revenue “trigger” was stripped out because it was found to violate Senate budget rules; as the chamber adjourned for the night Thursday, senators were instead discussing putting an automatic, future tax increase into the bill instead.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and her top deputy, Raj Shah, have so far not responded to an inquiry seeking comment on whether Trump would be comfortable signing a measure that includes a future tax hike. But Trump on Friday morning signaled he would sign the bill.
“This is a once in a generation chance. Obstructionist Dems trying to block because they think it is too good and will not be given the credit!” Trump wrote.
Republicans Senators are working hard to pass the biggest Tax Cuts in the history of our Country. The Bill is getting better and better. This is a once in a generation chance. Obstructionist Dems trying to block because they think it is too good and will not be given the credit!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
The tax tweet followed two posts about the Zarate case, just hours after the State Department announced it would deport him yet again.
The first called Zarate “The Kate Steinle killer” even though a jury found him not guilty. That tweet also blamed President Barack Obama and his administration for allowing the undocumented man to come “back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court.”
In unusually sharp words from a sitting U.S. president, Trump called the jury’s ruling “a complete travesty of justice.” And he used the verdict to call for one of the things that helped fire up his base and helped him win the White House: “BUILD THE WALL!” he wrote.
The Kate Steinle killer came back and back over the weakly protected Obama border, always committing crimes and being violent, and yet this info was not used in court. His exoneration is a complete travesty of justice. BUILD THE WALL!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
The president was critical of the jury not being informed of Zarate’s other crimes, and he blamed that on the “Schumer/Pelosi Democrats.” He branded them as “so weak on Crime” and predicted their stances on the issue and blame for Zarate being found not guilty will mean “they will pay a big price in the 2018 and 2020 Elections.”
The jury was not told the killer of Kate was a 7 time felon. The Schumer/Pelosi Democrats are so weak on Crime that they will pay a big price in the 2018 and 2020 Elections.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 1, 2017
The White House has said any future immigration bill that would legalize the Obama-era DACA immigration program — which Trump has set in motion to be nixed - also would have to include full funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Democrats, including Schumer and Pelosi, have said they would reject that demand. (The bill would have to clear a 60-vote threshold in the Senate, and Republicans hold only 52 seats.)