An unapologetic President Trump warned Republicans that his wheeling and dealing with Democrats will become the norm if they don’t unite behind key legislative proposals, even as his conservative base charged him with betrayal.
“If the Republicans don’t stick together, then I’m going to have to do more and more” with the Democrats, Trump told reporters aboard Air Force One yesterday. “If they’re unable to stick together, then I’m going to have to get a little help from the Democrats, and I’ve got that, I’ll tell you.”
Trump’s comments came after inching closer to a deal with once-ridiculed Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi — or “Chuck and Nancy,” as Trump calls them now — on the fate of the 800,000 young illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children. The potential agreement would shield the so-called “Dreamers” from deportation in exchange for tougher security at the border, but not the wall along Mexico that became a Trump campaign cornerstone.
Trump blindsided the GOP last week by agreeing to a different deal with Schumer and Pelosi on extending the debt ceiling for just three months.
Trump defended the moves yesterday by pointing fingers at Republicans for botching efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare earlier this year, despite controlling both the House and Senate.
“We had the vote and then John McCain came out of nowhere, and we had a surprise,” said Trump. “Now what are we looking at? We have people now talking about single-payer, and that’s what we get.”
Trump added that on the forthcoming tax reform bill, he “would be very surprised” if “at least a few” Democrats don’t support the proposal.
Schumer, meanwhile, was caught on a hot mic in the Senate yesterday telling a colleague: “He likes us! He likes me, anyway.”
Schumer added: “I said, ‘Mr. President, you’re much better off if you can sometimes step right and sometimes step left. If you have to step just in one direction, you’re boxed.’ He gets that.”
Trump’s base has been loyal through endless scandals and gaffes, but the Democratic coziness may have crossed a line. A Breitbart story labeling the deal “a full-fledged cave” drew 46,000 online comments.
“At this point, who DOESN’T want Trump impeached?” tweeted conservative author Ann Coulter.
Trump tried to reassure his hardcore supporters yesterday, primarily on the idea of his proposed wall along Mexico, even if it’s not part of the latest deal with Democrats.
“The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built,” the president tweeted.
Herald wire services contributed to this story.
(c)2017 the Boston Herald
Visit the Boston Herald at www.bostonherald.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.