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Democratic congressional leaders says US President Donald Trump is ‘plunging the country into chaos’ with his recent attacks on the Federal Reserve and engineering a partial government shutdown.

The shutdown has left 25 per cent of US government agencies without operating funds.

The Democratic declaration comes after Wall Street closed on Monday with heavy losses and the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the main market benchmark, fell 2.91 per cent – or more than 653 points – in its worst Christmas Eve performance in history.

In a joint statement, Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi warned that: ‘It’s Christmas Eve and President Trump is plunging the country into chaos. The stock market is tanking and the president is waging a personal war on the Federal Reserve – after he just fired the Secretary of Defence,’ referring to General James Mattis, who resigned last week only to be booted by Trump as of January 1, two months before his stated departure date.

The president is being harshly questioned over his dismissal of Mattis, who submitted his resignation letter late last week – to be effective February 28 – after Trump abruptly announced that he was withdrawing all US troops from Syria.

Due to the government shutdown, some 25 per cent of US government activities have been paralysed since Friday because Congress has not been able to approve a budget and funding for those departments has expired.

The Democratic leaders said that different people in the White House are saying different things about what the president could or could not accept in exchange for ending the shutdown he originally he would be ‘proud’ to bring about, and thus the administration evidently does not have a common or unified stance on the matter.

The Senate will meet again on Thursday to try and reach a budget agreement so that the government can be fully reopened, but the White House said the shutdown may continue into January.