It is hard to say that the shutdown is due to one particular party only, despite the claims made by Democrats and Republicans alike. The truth is that either party has the choice to concede and end the shutdown, but is choosing not to, and hence neither party is innocent, both are using the prolongment of the shutdown as a 'threat' to get what they want.

However, that said, Donald Trump took the blame of the shutdown on live television, claiming multiple times that he would "own it".

Why does Donald Trump willingly take the blame for a monstrously unpopular thing that pretty much everybody wants to see end?

  • 3
    I realize that your new here, so you probably don't appreciate that this forum is not intended to generate or solicit speculation.You probably don't realize that as soon as you combine the words "WHY" with a person you are automatically asking about that persons motivations. I'd suggest that a question such as "is hostage taking and effective and ethical tool to obtain one's goals" - but suit yourself
    – BobE
    Jan 10, 2019 at 6:05
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    Would this question not be more appropriate for a psychology site? (FWIW, I suspect that Trump believes that reports of the unpopularity of the shutdown, and the Wall itself, is just more "fake news" :-()
    – jamesqf
    Jan 10, 2019 at 6:09
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    @jamesqf psychiatrists make it a thing not to comment on patients they have not had a chance to fully examine. It's in their ethical guidelines: the Goldwater rule.
    – JJJ
    Jan 10, 2019 at 6:52
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    I think it can be argued that he didn't actually accept the blame. While he said he would in the infamous white house meeting with the opposition, he is now shifting blame to them. His spoken intentions weren't followed up on by his actions. He's not willingly taking the blame, which makes this question hard to answer.
    – Morfildur
    Jan 10, 2019 at 8:47
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    @FrankCedeno Context is really important, especially these days. Both Hillary and Obama continued those statements by explaining what they meant, and it isn't the conclusion you came to. Many media sources continually use the tactic of quoting only part of what someone says without context in order fulfill a narrative. It's underhanded and I wish it wasn't the case, but it's reality.
    – Onyz
    Jan 10, 2019 at 15:22

1 Answer 1


He is doubling down on his wall commitment. For years we have heard mister Trump speak about the border wall, it has been one of his major campaigning points. When you talk about the wall you immediately associate that with mister Trump.

If he backs down now it would seem as if he deems other things more important than his main campaign issue. By sticking with it he shows that he's determined on this.

In addition to that, the shutdown generates a lot of news. It's the main talking point in the US and that means he gets the attention he craves. Once again, he dominates the news cycle.

  • That is President Trump. That he craves attention is an opinion that cannot be proven as any kind of fact since he is the president and everything a president does while in office is news worthy. The proof is that there is a press corps permanently near him including during vacations and the very plane the president uses to go from place to place. President Trump uses the press as one of the avenues to communicate to the citizens which all presidents have used in the past. Jan 10, 2019 at 13:54
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    @FrankCedeno it's mister Trump when you consider his time as a candidate. He started his wall commitment during the campaign. As for the attention, I'll let people use their own judgement.
    – JJJ
    Jan 10, 2019 at 14:49
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    And remember that Trump was willing to accept a continuation budget that didn't have wall funding until Fox News started calling him out on it. Jan 10, 2019 at 22:34

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