There’s a lot to unpack from today’s disastrous Oval Office meeting between President Trump, an apparently drowsy Vice President Mike Pence, and Democratic party leaders Senator Chuck Schumer and Rep. Nancy Pelosi. The meeting quickly went sideways as Trump battled with Schumer and Pelosi over funding for the president’s proposed Southern border wall amid a looming government shutdown while Pence retreated within himself, as if he were a kid in the backseat tuning out his parents’ arguing during a long road trip.
What’s truly incredible is that the fallout took place in front of the press spray. First, Trump lied about how much of the wall has been built before Pelosi stepped in to remind the president that he doesn’t have the House votes required to secure wall funding. This prompted Trump to brag about how the GOP retained control of the Senate in the midterms, as if his party didn’t take a major hit when Democrats picked up a net gain of 40 seats in the House. Trump left the door wide open for Schumer to roast Trump for boasting about retaining Senate seats in deeply red states.
“When the president brags he has won North Dakota and Indiana, he’s in real trouble,” Schumer quipped while shooting a few Jim Halpert looks at the cameras.
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) December 11, 2018
This is admittedly a good burn, yet the president doesn’t seem to be aware he was roasted.
“I did win,” Trump said before muttering, “We did win North Dakota… and Indiana.”
Amid all the bluster, Trump also seems unaware that he handed Schumer and Pelosi a gift of a soundbite when he said he would “take the mantle” for a government shutdown if he doesn’t get his wall built.
“I will be the one to shut it down and I’m not going to blame you,” Trump told Schumer. As you can see, Pelosi has already started capitalizing off it:
.@realDonaldTrump has the Senate, the White House, and the House (for the moment) under Republican control. He has the power to keep government open – but instead, he says he’s going to shut down the government. #TrumpShutdown pic.twitter.com/Pdbo4rH0sG
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) December 11, 2018
President Deals, baby!