Trump tells Americans to 'calm down and enjoy the ride' in 2019

Tweet comes as president faces criticism over government shutdown and decision to pull troops out of Syria

Chris Stevenson
Tuesday 01 January 2019 18:27 GMT
Donald Trump wishes everyone 'Happy New Year' for 2019

Donald Trump has told Americans to “calm down and enjoy the ride” in 2019 as part of a New Year’s message on Twitter.

The tweet, written all in capitals, hit out at the president’s usual targets, including his “haters” and what he calls the “fake news media”. Mr Trump said it would be a “fantastic year” for those not suffering from “Trump derangement syndrome” – presumably a reference to those who have questioned his decisions.

The tweet – followed by a more sedate “Happy New Year!” – comes as the president faces a number of issues, the most pressing of which is the current partial government shutdown. The impasse is a result of Mr Trump hardening his stance over a request for $5bn (£3.9bn) for his often promised wall on the US-Mexico border.

Democrats in congress have offered $1.3bn in general border security funding, but having looked like he might accept that deal before Christmas, Mr Trump is now adamant it is not enough after reaction from some of his biggest supporters.

In other tweets, about the spending bill suggested by Democrats in the House of Representatives, he wrote: “The Democrats, much as I suspected, have allocated no money for a new Wall. So imaginative! The problem is, without a Wall there can be no real Border Security.”

Congress is set to return on Thursday, but if the latest tweets from Mr Trump are anything to go by, the impasse will likely continue. The president repeated some of his favourite taunts against the Democrats in a later tweet, claiming they “do not care about open borders” and mentioning “crime and drugs” – two buzzwords for his supporters.

Given Mr Trump has had to cancel a trip to his resort in Mar-a-Lago in Florida over the shutdown, it is clear to see why he is frustrated. The president has not made a public appearance for days.

He has also faced criticism over his decision to pull US troops out of the conflict in Syria.

The move led to the resignations of defence secretary James Mattis and the US envoy to the global coalition fighting Isis, Brett McGurk. The president suggested in a tweet on Monday that he was possibly slowing the withdrawal, causing confusion over the policy.

However, on New Year’s Day, he found time to criticise retired four-star general Stanley McChrystal. Gen McChrystal had called the president “immoral” over the weekend and said the decision to pull troops out of Syria would cause more instability in the region.

“‘General’ McChrystal… Known for big, dumb mouth. Hillary lover!” Mr Trump tweeted.

Late on Monday, Mr Trump shared a video reflecting on 2018 in which he touted the state of the economy, his negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his push for a wall along the southern border. He closed the video by looking ahead to the 2020 presidential campaign.

“So happy New Year, and let’s enjoy the next year, and then we’re going to enjoy the following year, and then we have four more and everything is going to be so beautiful,” Mr Trump said.

Democrats have started to line up presidential bids to go against Mr Trump, with senator Elizabeth Warren the most high-profile.

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As well as the spending bill legislation that will be raised in the House on Thursday, when the Democrats take control, Mr Trump also faces the possibility of a number of investigations by House committees.

That is not to mention the continuing investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, possible collusion with Trump campaign officials and whether Mr Trump himself obstructed the federal probe.

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