Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci told the West Block‘s Mercedes Stephenson that the three-week shutdown is a grudge match symbolizing the bigger ideological fight between Republicans and Democrats, but warned the country will face serious economic harm if it doesn’t end soon.
“I’m not surprised he is where he is right now, I just think it’s really bad for the country. They have to get together, forge a compromise, each side has to lose a little bit of face and we’ve got to get the government back open,” he said.
“At some point, this kind of behaviour will switch economic psychology and cause an economic slowdown so I hope these guys get it together shortly.”
WATCH BELOW: A look back at the times Donald Trump said Mexico would pay for the wall
The U.S. government shutdown is now 23 days old and shows no sign of a resolution.
Hundreds of thousands of federal workers south of the border are either off the job or working without pay as a result.
Trump demands Congress approve $5.7 billion in funding for a border wall with Mexico.
The Democrats, newly in control of the House of Representatives, have refused to cite fundamental opposition to Trump’s anti-immigrant policies and the proposed wall in particular.
Eight Republicans also broke rank to vote with the Democrats last week to restore funding to the Treasury Department and the IRS.
A growing number of Republicans are also expressing concerns over the toll of the shutdown on Americans missing their pay cheques.
Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, for example, called the shutdown “useless.”
But Trump has refused to back down and threatened to veto the bill to restore funding.
WATCH BELOW: Trump says he has the ‘absolute right’ to declare a national emergency
He has also threatened to invoke a national emergency in order to deploy the military to build the wall, essentially circumventing Congress.
However, doing so would require invocation of a national emergency to stand up in court — which may be unlikely.
Scaramucci said the fact the president made a pledge to build a wall the cornerstone of his campaign explains why he is “obsessed” with the plan now and described the fight as “an ego grudge they have to figure out a way to put aside.”
He noted though that the way things have unfolded seem to contradict Trump’s vows to do politics differently from how things in Washington are traditionally handled.
“I don’t know where it’s going but I can tell you this,” he said.
“If the president was a private citizen, if he was back at the Trump Corporation, he’d be looking at what’s going on in Washington and scratching his head.”