CNN Panel Goes Off on Trump for Reversal on Threat to Dems: Pelosi Won and He Looks ‘More Foolish’ Now
In the escalating war of words with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) over a demand to end all Congressional investigations, President Donald Trump just blinked, according to CNN chief political correspondent Ryan Lizza: “It probably wasn’t going to work with no matter what, but this makes it look even more foolish.”
Last Wednesday, at a bizarre Rose Garden press conference, Trump struck a petulant tone and insisted that House Democrats stop all oversight into his finances and the Mueller report findings. If they didn’t, he warned, he would refuse to work with them on passing any bills going forward. His ultimatum drew widespread condemnation from House Democrats and prompted Pelosi to urge the president’s close advisers to stage an “intervention” with him. It also prompted one Democratic presidential candidate to accuse of him of holding the country’s needs “hostage” to preserve his own self-interest.
Trump’s bravado didn’t even survive the week, however, as Lizza pointed out on The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer. Speaking about his recently re-negotiated trade deal with Mexico and Canada at a press conference in Japan on Monday — a huge political priority for the White House — Trump instead sounded conciliatory and cooperative toward House Democrats, who have flatly refused to back down.
“I would imagine that Nancy Pelosi will approve that. I would think it would be very hard not to, but we’ll see,” Trump said of he USMCA trade deal. “But certainly, as things get approved I would love to sign them. It’s only good for our country. I’m only interested in what’s good for our country. It’s very important.”
By backing down so publicly while getting nothing in return, Lizza said Trump has handed the negotiating leverage to Pelosi and House Democrats. “Now, he is coming to them saying, okay, we can make it work on this issue. Only the issues he wants to work on, not the ones that they care about.”
Or, as CNN White House reporter Jim Acosta noted of the president’s on-again, off-again bipartisan approach: “It also sounds like, if the president blows his top, you can wait that out.”
Acosta asked if Pelosi “won that battle.” David Swerdlick said she did and that Pelosi “knows how to push the president’s buttons.”
Susan Hennesseey, meanwhile, said Trump was being “petulant” from the start and sent the message of “I’m not going to work with you, na na na na na na.”
Watch video above, via CNN.
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