While the partial US government shutdown is all set to stretch on through Christmas, Donald Trump tweeted to rant about being 'all alone' in the White House, while waiting for the Democrats to come and make a deal on 'desperately needed Border Security'.
As Republicans prepare to relinquish their hold on government, with Democrats taking control of the House in January, the opportunities — and limits — of the GOP alliance with the Trump, the White House may be running their course.
Over and again, Trump has shown himself to be more of a tactical, than strategic, thinker, acting to avoid short-term pain rather than seeking long-term gain. When Congress was about to keep the government running without a fight over border wall money, Trump felt the outcry from his base and intervened.
Meanwhile, Washington's National Christmas Tree went dark on Monday, December 24 on the third day of the US government shutdown that left President Donald Trump fuming at opponents and stock markets teetering.
The tree, whose spectacular lights were switched on at a ceremony attended by Trump earlier this month, became a forlorn symbol of the dysfunction gripping Washington two years into his presidency.
The National Park Service tweeted that it would remain unlit and closed to the public "until further notice," with checks being made for damage following an attempt by an intruder on Friday to climb the tree.
The US shutdown meant that more than 400,000 federal employees reported to their jobs on Monday without getting paid, while nearly 400,000 others "will be locked out of work with no pay," the American Federation of Government Employees union said.
"No private business or company would be permitted to impose on or disrupt the lives of their employees in such a manner," the Federation said in letters to the Senate and House of Representatives.
(With agency inputs)