Trump Hostage Drama Already Ending?

FILE - In this Feb. 18, 2016 file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump listens to his mobile phone during a lunch stop in North Charleston, S.C. Trump’s approach to Twitter has been as unorthodox as his presidential campaign.The billionaire’s use of the social media service has been unpredictable and unfiltered, sometimes brilliant and occasionally typographically challenged. He has celebrated the support of scores of accounts that appear almost solely dedicated to him. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)
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Is the President already pre-failing his “border wall or the your annual physical gets it” hostage drama shakedown? As I noted on Friday, the President is or was setting up a government shutdown drama in which he threatens to deprive people of coverage from the Obamacare exchanges if Democrats don’t agree to fund his border wall. As explained here, this is not only an egregious bit of legislative hostage taking and mafia-like shakedown, it also shows a pretty poor grasp of the politics of the moment.

Now it seems that the White House may be trying to moonwalk away from the threat.

This from Jonathan Swan’s Axios newsletter …

Chuck Todd, host of NBC’s “Meet the Press,” asked Priebus whether the administration would veto a government funding bill if there’s not money in it to fund Trump’s border wall. Priebus’ response here was telling:

“It will be enough in the negotiation for us to move forward with either the construction or the planning, or enough for us to move forward through the end of September to get going on the border wall and border security in regard to border patrol…”

Between the lines: By refusing to demand funding for the bricks-and-mortar “wall,” Reince tipped his hand. Trump can’t stomach a shutdown on his watch, so he’ll likely take a “win” on some form of funding for border security, even if it’s not specifically for building the wall.

The issue here or rather the driver is, I suspect, less the Democrats than Republicans who won’t go along with it either.

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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