The president of the National Federation of Federal Employees, Randy Erwin, on Thursday bashed President Donald Trump for his lack of knowledge about hundreds of thousands of federal workers struggling with the partial government shutdown, calling Trump’s recent comments “preposterous.”
Erwin, whose union represents 110,000 federal workers, particularly took issue with Trump’s tweet on Thursday saying that more Democrats than Republicans were not getting paid during the shutdown.
Funding for nine federal departments and several agencies with hundreds of thousands of workers expired at midnight Friday, and those employees will not be paid until more funding is allocated.
“It’s ridiculous,” Erwin said in an interview on CNN. “It’d be funny if it wasn’t really funny at all. We know the political makeup of federal employees. They are split evenly down political lines … equal Republicans and Democrats and a significant number of independents as well.”
He added that “any notion that you can slice and dice and furlough the Democrats and not the Republicans is just preposterous and comical. It just shows that he doesn’t understand the federal workforce very well or he wouldn’t say things like that.”
Erwin said 85 percent of federal employees work outside the Washington area, across the nation “in every community.”
He also noted that close to a third of federal workers are military veterans and that the federal government is the largest employer of veterans.
“So he’s out there saying he’s proud to shut the government down. These are the people he’s hurting. It’s just unbelievable the things that he’s saying right now,” said Erwin. “These workers are really hurt. Their pay has been shut off, and they don’t know how long it’s going to last.”
It’s unclear when the shutdown will end. Trump has vowed not to sign any temporary spending measure that doesn’t include billions of dollars for his border wall.
Check out Erwin’s interview in the clip above.