President Donald Trump signed a $1.3 trillion spending bill early Friday afternoon, but not before leaving both his staff and lawmakers on edge for four hours by tweeting he might veto it and trigger a government shutdown.
Just days earlier at the White House, the president assured House Speaker Paul Ryan he would sign the bill. A half-hour after the tweet, Mr. Ryan (R., Wis.) called the president and urged him to keep the promise, a congressional aide said.
White House aides huddled with Mr. Trump and warned him that he might catch blame for shutting down the government on a weekend he planned to spend at his Palm Beach, Fla., resort.
“F— that,” Mr. Trump said in rejecting the argument, according to people familiar with the discussion. In the end, he signed the bill in a West Wing ceremony but complained that it was so long no one had read it and warned Congress he wouldn’t sign another like it in the future.Mark Landler and Julie Hirschfeld Davis at NYT:
Inside the West Wing, aides described an atmosphere of bewildered resignation as they grappled with the all-too-familiar task of predicting and reacting in real time to Mr. Trump’s shifting moods.
Aides said there was no grand strategy to the president’s actions, and that he got up each morning this week not knowing what he would do. Much as he did as a New York businessman at Trump Tower, Mr. Trump watched television, reacted to what he saw on television and then reacted to the reaction.