I wanted to flag to your attention this new piece by our crack Capitol Hill team of Alice Ollstein and Tierney Sneed. I’ve been telling you in recent days how President Trump had made a flat demand for border wall money or he’d toss people off Obamacare and shut down the government to boot. Later he waffled and finally pulled one of Trump’s classic whipsaw pre-fails, deciding he’d just try to get the money in the fall.
The codebreaker is simple: Every criticism Trump made was a prediction and aspiration.
This is really quite astounding. In this morning’s edition of Mike Allen’s not-Playbook from Axios he introduces what seems to be Ivanka Trump setting up something that sounds a lot like the Clinton Foundation, only in this case run from within the White House by a top presidential aide who is also the President’s daughter, who also runs her own large international company and who also has two brothers who are currently running the President/Father’s company and trying to rake in as much money as possible on the fame and power of the presidency. Also, let’s be honest, the Trumps are a notoriously corrupt family, especially when it comes to running foundations.
No less astounding is that Allen never mentions that there’s anything problematic about this or that it doesn’t mimic in a wildly more corrupt way what President Trump nominally ran most of the 2016 campaign against.
If I’m not mistaken, Sean Spicer, presumably speaking for the administration, is making a series of distinct and perhaps contradictory arguments about why it doesn’t need to, can’t or just shouldn’t turn over documents tied to former National Security Advisor Mike Flynn.
I noted over the weekend just how weak a hand President Trump was playing in his effort to force Democrats to vote for border wall money with a threat of taking away people’s health care coverage. I said this afternoon that it looked like he was getting ready to cave. But I could scarcely have imagined that Trump would preemptively cave as quickly, objectively and ridiculousness as he appears to have done. This is turning into the Dog Day Afternoon of legislative hostage dramas.
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I want to go back to the point I made this weekend, which is that President Trump’s threat to shut the government down and kick people off insurance (by pulling subsidies) if Democrats didn’t agree to fund the wall is just a big time political loser.
I stick to that point. But let’s see what now seems to be happening. President Trump’s advisors are now signaling that Trump plans to back down because he knows he’ll lose. In other words, Mr Winning, Dominating, Make the Best Deals is about to go Low Energy and walk away from a sure loss while trying to pretend it never happened.
I just listened to the reliable party man Hugh Hewitt on MSNBC confidently predicting that voters would not stand for a “Schumer shutdown” of the federal government over President Trump’s demand for funding over his border wall. I’ve seldom seen a man so slavishly bend all his ideas to whatever Republican happens to be in power. In any case, here’s why that “Schumer shutdown” prediction is almost certainly wrong.