MSNBC's Garrett Haake on Monday ridiculed President Donald Trump's refusal to come to the negotiation table to end his own government shutdown, saying he was using a time-honored Republican deflection tactic.


"Once again, a lot of smoke here but very little fire in terms of the discussions and negotiations to actually reopen the government," said Haake, after the president spent the morning attacking his enemies on Twitter. "The White House was using what's become a fairly standard tactic for Republican administrations which is: When in trouble, break glass and blame Nancy Pelosi, but the fact of the matter is the negotiations remain stalled."

Hakkae added that Trump's tweets served as a good example of why the shutdown has continued as long as it has and that Democrats simply "don't really know where the president stands."

"It's very difficult to negotiate with this White House because they don't think anyone actually speaks for the president," he said. "This is an example of that, the president moving back and forth between a wall, a fence, steel slats, and someone, including the outgoing chief of staff, who apparently cannot or does not accurately reflect the president's view on the matter." Haake added that until Trump articulates what he's willing to accept, Democrats aren't "willing to walk the plank on anything."

"They felt burned by the vice president, they felt burned along the way that the president has not been just explicit in what he wants," Haake added. "Until he is, they're not going to offer an olive branch."

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