Charlie Neibergall / AP
President Trump played Democratic Party president today. He gave Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer everything they hoped for and sent Republican leaders spiraling into anger and disbelief.
In just the past 24 hours:
- Trump handed Pelosi and Schumer the deal of the century over the debt ceiling this morning — a move one top Republican described to me as the legislative equivalent of giving an entire stockpile of weapons to Democrats and inviting them to take the entire Republican Party hostage.
- He nodded to bigger government, by agreeing to raise the debt limit, spend billions on disaster relief, and get zero spending cuts in exchange.
- Trump invited his daughter Ivanka into the meeting with Congressional leaders — where he was rejecting GOP leaders Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, and embracing Schumer and Pelosi — "to briefly discuss childcare tax credit," per NBC's Hallie Jackson.
- And he hopped aboard Air Force One and "held out the possibility of giving Democrats a much bigger prize in future negotiations: a permanent legislative fix for undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children who were protected from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which he announced would be winding down," per The Atlantic.
- Trump's quote to reporters on Air Force One: "Chuck and Nancy would like to see something happen [on DACA], and so do I." He conspicuously didn't mention the leaders of his own party, McConnell or Ryan. (North Dakota's Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp joined Trump on AF1, traveling to her home state for his tax reform speech.)