By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett says stay tuned for what could happen as the threat of the government shutdown looms.

Garrett was in the Twin Cities Monday to speak to the Economic Club of Minnesota. He says the president is convinced he has the backing for a shutdown.

“His base wants a shutdown over this issue,” Garrett said. “He probably wont suffer all that much if there is a shutdown.”

Garrett has covered four presidents, and has a front row seat to the unpredictable presidency of Donald Trump. He was in the Oval Office last week when an unprecedented showdown occurred between Sen. Chuck Schumer, Rep. Nancy Pelosi and the president.

“I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck,” President Trump said.

“As I said in my piece for Evening News that night, both sides got what they wanted, both sides wanted that confrontation,” Garrett said.

He added, “What was fascinating to me as a White House reporter, standing literally two feet away from it, was how willing and eager they were to carry this dispute into public and then deal with the after effects.”

Garrett has a new book out called “Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride,” and was in the Twin Cities to promote it and speak to the Twin Cities economic club. With the president enmeshed in a growing legal crisis, as well as a looming government shutdown, Garrett says do not underestimate the president’s ability to weather these latest problems.

“That snap-back is part of the Trump reality. Things look like they are terrible going into a drain or a drainage ditch and he finds some way to either steady himself or rebound,” Garrett said.

Garrett covered the Trump 2016 campaign. Two days before his stunning 2016 victory, candidate Trump held a hastily scheduled overflow rally at Twin Cities International Airport.

Garrett was struck enough to take a video of the crowd. He said he took the video because, “I didn’t even know why we were there. Minnesota, what? This isn’t on the map, is it? Well, no, but it got close to being on the map.”

Trump came within 50,000 votes of winning Minnesota. Garrett says he continues to be struck by the raw enthusiasm of the president’s supporters.

“These are people attracted to something else. It’s not Republican, it’s not even conservative; it’s Trumpian.”

Garrett flies back to Washington, D.C. Monday evening. His book on the Trump presidency came out two months ago.

Asked if he was planning a sequel, Garrett said it depends on what the publishers want, but he acknowledges there is clearly an awful lot of material there.

Esme Murphy

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