White House officials are hoping that Trump’s government shutdown has created a situation that will benefit him politically as we move into the new year.
According to a new report in The Daily Beast,Trump and his aides believe that the fight over a government funding bill will distract the Nancy Pelosi and the new Democratic majority in the House from pursuing investigations into him and his family.
Sources close to the White House say the administration believes that the shutdown over Trump’s border wall funding will set partisan voters against one another. They think this will create headaches for Pelosi, the probable new Speaker of the House. As a result, they believe Pelosi will not be able to give her full attention to the various House committee probes that have been promised by other House Democratic leaders.
Several incoming committee chairmen, such as Adam Schiff on the intelligence committee, Elijah Cummings on the oversight committee, and Jerry Nadler on the judicial committee, have said they would immediately open investigations into Trump at the start of the new Congress.
But according to one source close to the White House:
“The more the focus is on the wall, the more Pelosi is forced to focus on this fight instead of the investigations.
It’s a situation where Trump has no choice but to shut it down. It’s the best of the worst choices. It’s really the only choice because I think there are people who would vote for him today who might not if he gave in too quickly.”
Trump allies are now saying that the president believes the shutdown is a winning issue for him because it will trap the Democrats into “screwing themselves.”
“I don’t think the White House thought it out strategically,” one former aide said. “It is something Trump fell into and got lucky. He’s a lucky guy in a lot of ways.”
But Democrats believe Trump’s position in the border wall standoff is much weaker than Pelosi’s. As we reported earlier today, Pelosi is planning a “power play” to stick it to Trump.
People who understand Washington know that the savvy Pelosi will not be distracted by Trump’s antics from passing ethics reforms and pursuing House oversight of the executive branch.
“I don’t see this as going well for Trump,” said one top ranking congressional Democratic aide. “He keeps digging himself further in a hole with his every comment and move. The idea that they’re somehow doing good in this shows they’re clearly living in a Fox News bubble.”
Trump is indeed living in a fantasy world. The truth is that the vast majority of American voters do not approve of the shutdown, and they blame him for it. In addition, most Americans do not want the government to waste money on a border wall with Mexico.
Eventually other Republicans in Congress, such as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, are going to have to tell the president that he has lost, and it is time for him to give up.
At the end of next week Nancy Pelosi will be in charge of the House, and there’s no way for Donald Trump to win his fight against her. He’s just too dumb and ignorant to see it yet.
I am a lifelong Democrat with a passion for social justice and progressive issues. I have degrees in writing, economics and law from the University of Iowa.