CNN hosts and reporters torched President Donald Trump after his speech announcing the end of the partial government shutdown, saying he had caved for nothing and suffered perhaps the worst strategic loss of his political career.
Trump announced at the White House he would sign a continuing resolution to fund the government through Feb. 15, effectively ending the 35-day shutdown. He promised to get federal workers who had been going without pay their paychecks quickly, but the big political news was there was no money for the wall Trump has long promised to build on the southern border.
He said he expected Republicans and Democrats to work in good faith over the next three weeks to provide funding for border security. He also mentioned the government could easily shut down again in February and was prepared to declare emergency powers if needed. Trump departed his speech to applause at the White House.
CNN daytime anchor Brooke Baldwin was disgusted.
"35 days," she said. "35 days of federal workers rationing asthma medicine for their kids, sleeping in cars … This man is not getting a single penny for his wall. 35 days. And people are applauding him. This man singlehandedly shut down the government. It is shameful."
CNN reporter Dana Bash said there was a four-letter word to describe what happened: "Cave."
"There's no other way to describe it," she said. "The president caved after, as you said, more than 30 days, after all of the real real-world ramifications of what has gone on."
Bash repeated Democratic talking points about how they would be happy to debate border security after the government was re-opened.
CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta, a frequent Trump critic and target, called it a "big cave" and "one of the biggest tactical defeats for the president that we've seen in his political life." He also referred to what Trump "sees as a crisis on the border."
Acosta said Trump was "hell-bent" on getting the wall but guessed there was a good chance the government would be shut down again. He also had harsh words for Vice President Mike Pence, senior adviser Jared Kushner and other White House administration members who applauded and cheered Trump's remarks.
"That was just right out of Alice in Wonderland, to see the White House and people inside the White House applauding the president during one of the biggest tactical defeats, strategic defeats of his political career, just felt like the upside-down out of Stranger Things," Acosta said. "It is just bizarre to see something like that happening and they were looking jubilant before he even began his remarks."
"This is something we see day in and day out over here at the White House," he added. "There are just people here who are not dealing with reality. The reality on the outside world is that during a 35-day shutdown, people are suffering, they are crying, they're on the news talking about how they can't pay their bills and buy their insulin, and over here at the White House, they're smiling and clapping and congratulating themselves for a shutdown that just caused a great deal of agony across the country."
Trump said last month during a meeting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) that he would own any government shutdown if an impasse was reached over funding for the border wall.