We went all in yesterday on that wild Oval Office meeting with Trump, Pelosi, Schumer and a wax figure version of Vice President Pence installed in the background. Here are the top video moments in case you missed it yesterday. But TPM Reader MRK flagged something I’d missed in all the antic energy of the moment. I don’t get the sense many others caught it either. Trump always shares everything going through his head out loud and in real time. And just before letting the Pelosi/Schumer tag team bait him into saying he was eager to shut down the government and make it his personal shutdown he said out loud what his original plan has been before Pelosi got in his face and slapped him around.
I’ll let MRK explain.
My heart was racing as I watched this insane interaction in the Oval Office today. If the stakes weren’t so high, it might have been enjoyable, although as things stand, I just feel nervous about what’s going to happen once Trump feels completely cornered.
One thing I think is missing from the coverage I’m looking at tonight is recognition that Pelosi skillfully threaded the needle by picking a fight with Trump and claiming the high ground immediately thereafter. The first time Trump interrupted her was when she mentioned a “Trump shutdown.” He even looked impressed for a split second as he turned toward Schumer and mumbled “I was gonna call it a Pelosi shutdown.” But this is what set him off and derailed his plan to look magnanimous and presidential by inviting Schumer and Pelosi to speak on camera
I believe that she is genuinely not interested in conducting the work of governing in this way, but it is a mistake to think she is incapable of playing and winning at Trump’s level. She is more disciplined, more intelligent and more experienced than him. Schumer also played an important role here, but anyone who doubted whether Pelosi could effectively stand up to Trump must see that she has plans to do so. Her comments about his manhood later in the day underscored her intent to beat him on his own turf.
Needless to say, MRK is 100% right. Here’s the video and transcript.
Here's the part where Pelosi says "Trump Shutdown" and Trump is a little caught off guard and mumbles to Schumer, "I was gonna call it the Pelosi shutdown." pic.twitter.com/cO2GhclE3Z
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) December 12, 2018
HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI: Well, thank you, Mr. President, for the opportunity to meet with you so that we can work together in a bipartisan way to meet the needs of the American people.
I think the American people recognize that we must keep government open, that a shutdown is not worth anything, and that you should not have a Trump shutdown. You have the White House —
THE PRESIDENT: Did you say “Trump” — oh, oh.
HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI: A “Trump shutdown.” You have the White House —
THE PRESIDENT: I was going to call it a “Pelosi shutdown.”
HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI: You have the Senate. You have the House of Representatives. You have the votes. You should pass it right now.
THE PRESIDENT: No, we don’t have the votes, Nancy, because in the Senate, we need 60 votes and we don’t have it.
HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI: No, no, but in the House, you could bring it up right now, today.
THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, but I can’t — excuse me. But I can’t get it passed in the House if it’s not going to pass in the Senate. I don’t want to waste time.
HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI: Well, the fact is you can get it started that way.
THE PRESIDENT: The House we can get passed very easily, and we do.
HOUSE SPEAKER-DESIGNATE PELOSI: Okay, then do it. Then do it.
And here’s what the two baited Trump into saying just moments later.
Good Lord, Chuck baits Trump into "proud to shut the government down" quotes, also Trump changes face Pantone from Grifty Orange to Boily Red on live video. pic.twitter.com/wk0RgbbuP8
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) December 11, 2018