Politics

Trump Sheds Bipartisan Tone, Returns to Blasting Dems

Presidents joins Republicans at retreat to talk DACA, infrastructure

President Donald Trump delivers his State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress in the House chamber on Tuesday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

It turns out the bipartisan message President Donald Trump struck in his State of the Union address had a shelf life of exactly 32 hours.

The president used part of his speech to a joint session of Congress to call on Republicans and Democrats to cooperate on issues like immigration reform and rebuilding the country’s aging infrastructure. He stuck to that script on Wednesday, taking no public shots at congressional Democrats even after they booed and hissed at parts of his address.

But that Trump was gone before 7 a.m. Thursday. The partisan streetfighter was back.

The president fired off several tweets ahead of his trip to West Virginia, where he will join congressional Republicans at their annual legislative retreat. And he used the morning missives to criticize Democrats.

Trump wrote that when he visits the Greenbrier resort in Lewisburg, he and GOP members “will be planning Infrastructure and discussing Immigration and DACA,” he wrote, adding passing those bills is “not easy when we have no support from the Democrats. NOT ONE DEM VOTED FOR OUR TAX CUT BILL! Need more Republicans in ‘18.”

In a second tweet, the president lashed out at Democrats again, writing that a March 5 deadline he gave Congress to legalize the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals immigration program is “rapidly approaching,” adding “Democrats are doing nothing about DACA.”

“They Resist, Blame, Complain and Obstruct — and do nothing,” Trump tweeted, urging his followers to “Start pushing Nancy Pelosi and the Dems to work out a DACA fix, NOW!”

And after fact-checkers spent much of Wednesday picking apart claims made in his first official State of the Union speech, Trump made another questionable one on Thursday morning — about the size of the audience that watched the prime-time address.

The president put the audience size at 45.6 million people, calling it “the highest number in history.”

For at least one Democratic member, the tweet conjured memories of the White House’s claims that Trump’s inauguration crowd was much larger than it appeared.

Rep. Donald S. Beyer Jr., a Virginia Democrat, used his own tweet minutes later to call it a “ridiculous thing to lie about.” He noted that three presidents — Barack Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton — all had larger viewerships for one of their annual addresses.

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.