White House says Trump focused on minimizing shutdown harm

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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders talks to media outside the White House in Washington during the government shutdown, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. | AP Photo

WASHINGTON — The White House says President Donald Trump is focused on minimizing the harm Democrats are causing through the government shutdown.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday that managing the shutdown is the “biggest part of the process” for Trump. She says the president is taking the “absolute opposite approach” from President Barack Obama’s administration, which she says tried to “weaponize” a 16-day shutdown in 2013.

Trump has been criticized for not meeting with lawmakers since a lunch Friday with Democratic New York Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Trump also hasn’t appeared in public since Friday. The White House released photos showing him in the Oval Office on Saturday and meeting with staff.

Budget director Mick Mulvaney says he’s meeting with Trump later Monday to go over the “mechanics” of a shutdown.

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