After boxing himself in on shutdown, Trump tells aides to find way out that doesn't disgrace him
Donald Trump has personally led two negotiations with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer. During the first one in late December, he declared that he would be “proud” to shut down the government over his precious border wall. During the second one last week, Trump threatened the shutdown could last for “months or even years” and later bragged to reporters that he “absolutely” said that.
But now that nearly 1 million federal workers are furloughed or working without pay, the national parks have become literal wastelands, and airport chaos is ensuing, Trump’s getting skittish and wants his aides to find him a way out of this gigantic mess, according to the Wall Street Journal.
During a private meeting with aides at Camp David on Sunday, Mr. Trump said he wanted them to come up with a resolution to the shutdown fight that would reopen the government without him appearing to have capitulated to Democrats,
So Trump doesn’t want to be seen as capitulating? Well, no shit, Sherlock. Welcome to Politics 101—you don’t box yourself into an impossible position without having a vision for your endgame and leaving room for a compromise that you can play up as a “win.” But instead of taking time to envision his escape in advance, master negotiator Trump went into those meetings guns blazing and delivered a shoot-em-up routine that landed him in a bunker without any backup. Total “stable genius.”
Even as that Camp David meeting unfolded, instead of tamping down expectations for how this would all resolve, Trump’s negotiators asked for even MORE money in their weekend meeting with congressional staffers. In the meantime, his surrogates continue to barricade him in the bunker.