A day later, as those jobless benefits for gig workers and self-employed Americans were lapsing, Trump was issuing a string of angry messages about his own perceived injustices: the election he falsely claims was stolen from him and the growing roster of people he’s upset won’t help him reverse it.
The fashion cover gripe came as the President was returning from his golf club in Florida to his oceanfront estate, where somewhere was waiting the massive coronavirus relief package that had been specially flown from Washington for his consideration. An official familiar with the matter said the bill was at Mar-a-Lago by Friday morning.
Trump offered no indication Saturday he was planning to sign it, meaning the unemployment program that expires Saturday — which provides benefits to as many as 12 million Americans — has little hope of proceeding without interruption.
“I simply want to get our great people $2000, rather than the measly $600 that is now in the bill. Also, stop the billions of dollars in ‘pork,’ ” Trump wrote from Mar-a-Lago on Saturday.
“Made many calls and had meetings at Trump International in Palm Beach, Florida,” Trump wrote Friday on Twitter. “Why would politicians not want to give people $2000, rather than only $600? It wasn’t their fault, it was China. Give our people the money!”
The $600 check is surely a pittance for people struggling with back rent and unpaid bills. But it was nevertheless the amount they were promised could arrive next week when officials, including Trump’s own Treasury secretary, were lauding the bill they negotiated.
Now the fate of those checks remains uncertain — as does the functioning of the entire federal government, which only has funding to remain open through Monday.
Trump, however, had another date in mind — and the functioning of other government resources — on Saturday as he woke up on Boxing Day in a fury over the election results. His anger extended to all three branches of government: he lashed out at the Supreme Court, which has refused to hear his case; Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden’s win; and his own law enforcement agencies, who have provided little backing to his lies.
“The ‘Justice’ Department and the FBI have done nothing about the 2020 Presidential Election Voter Fraud, the biggest SCAM in our nation’s history, despite overwhelming evidence. They should be ashamed. History will remember. Never give up. See everyone in D.C. on January 6th,” he wrote.
January 6 is when Congress will meet to officially ratify the Election College that Biden won; Trump hopes an insurgent effort by Conservative House members and perhaps his vice president will overturn the inevitable. The effort is all but certain to fail, but it has captured Trump’s interest nonetheless.
Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger responded to the tweets from Trump on Saturday morning, calling them a “temper tantrum and crazy conspiracies” and said the President is “trying to burn the place down on the way out because you can’t handle losing.”
Throwing relief into question
On Saturday, Biden urged Trump to sign the relief bill, saying further delay has “devastating consequences.”
“It is the day after Christmas, and millions of families don’t know if they’ll be able to make ends meet because of President Donald Trump’s refusal to sign an economic relief bill approved by Congress with an overwhelming and bipartisan majority,” Biden said. “This abdication of responsibility has devastating consequences. Today, about 10 million Americans will lose unemployment insurance benefits. In just a few days, government funding will expire, putting vital services and paychecks for military personnel at risk. In less than a week, a moratorium on evictions expires, putting millions at risk of being forced from their homes over the holidays.”
Asked at his club this week about his stance — which seemed to have nothing to do with the position his administration’s negotiators took in the crafting of the package — Trump has told associates he believes the measure is loaded with “pork,” according to people familiar with the conversations.