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The president was asked about the shutdown on Thursday morning by an NBC News reporter—in response, the president said there was blame everywhere for the shutdown, which has stretched into its 19th day.
“The buck stops with everybody,” the president said. “They could solve this problem in literally 15 minutes. We could be back, we could have border security, they could stop this problem in 15 minutes if they wanted to. I really believe now that they don’t want to. I really believe that.”
Ah yes, the classic presidential expression: "The buck stops with everybody." pic.twitter.com/chrVnveqFd— Lis Power (@LisPower1) January 10, 2019
The president’s insistence that the “buck stops with everybody” is a stark contrast to his comments about the shutdown last month.
In early December, Trump said he didn’t mind owning the shutdown following a contentious meeting between himself, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), and then-House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
“I don’t mind having the issue of border security on my side,” the president said. “If we have to close down the country over border security, I actually like that in terms of an issue. But I don’t want it to be an issue, I want it to be something the country needs. It’s not really an issue, it’s something the country needs. It’s common sense. The country needs it… so I don’t mind owning that issue.”
During the meeting, the president said he would be “proud” to shut down the government over border security.
Trump using the phrase “the buck stops with everybody” was noticed by many.
“The buck stops with everybody.” — a failed president— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) January 10, 2019
Trump just told @kwelkernbc that “the buck stops with everyone” with regard to the shutdown—both a lie and a cowardly refusal to be accountable. Also said that he’d rather negotiate with China than the Democrats. Today’s “I can’t believe that he is president” moment came early.— Jamil Smith (@JamilSmith) January 10, 2019
As a student and practitioner of leadership, I’m trying to wrap my head around “the buck stops with everybody.” Seems to violate every principle of accountability, responsibility, judgement, and decision-making...and leadership.— Mark Hertling (@MarkHertling) January 10, 2019
Trump today: "The buck stops with everybody." Truman: (spins in grave)— Harry Shearer (@theharryshearer) January 10, 2019
"The buck stops with everybody" will definitely be the quote that goes down in history.— Sarah Burris (@SarahBurris) January 10, 2019
I want "The buck stops with everybody" embroidered on a throw pillow https://t.co/Qtd0QVE2vn— Andrew Pardue (@ABPardue) January 10, 2019
In his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Trump infamously declared, “I alone can fix it.”
Maybe he needs some help though.
Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).