Material of Interest to People on the Left 



 Dana Bash, Kevin Liptak, Dan Merica and Jeff Zeleny, 
 January 20, 2018

	* [https://portside.org/node/16335/printable/print]

 _ Among the items considered: military funding far above the White
House's request and, enticingly for Trump, full funding for Trump's
border security demands. What was Schumer thinking? _ 

 CNN, Schumer, Trump and McConnell 


Washington (CNN)After his morning television shows had ended and as
the deadline to fund the government loomed, President Donald Trump
placed a call to the man in Washington he believed held all the cards:
Sen. Chuck Schumer

The flurry of conversations that ensued between the President and the
Senate's top Democrat -- beyond just their Friday lunch in the
President's private dining room -- reflect the lengths Schumer was
willing to go in negotiating with a President eager for a deal. But
they also demonstrate the chaos and unpredictability that Trump has
injected into an already dysfunctional capital city. 
Trump's midday negotiations with Schumer
provided some glimmers of optimism, according to a source familiar
with the conversation. But in the end the talks failed to yield a plan
that could avoid a shutdown. Thirteen hours after Trump first phoned
Schumer from his White House residence, government funding ran out. 

The sole face-to-face meeting between Trump and a Democratic lawmaker
on Friday was a last-ditch effort to keep the government open by a
President whose party controls both chambers of Congress. But 90
(mostly friendly) minutes of hashing out options on immigration plans
couldn't get Trump -- or his sole aide in the room, chief of staff
John Kelly -- onto the same page with Democrats. 
"This afternoon in my heart, I thought we may have a deal tonight.
That was how far we'd come. That's how positive our discussion felt.
We had a good meeting," Schumer said on the Senate floor after
midnight. "But what has transpired since that meeting in the Oval
Office is indicative of the entire tumultuous and chaotic process
Republicans have engaged in in the negotiations thus far." 
This account of how the day unfolded is based on CNN interviews with a
half-dozen administration and congressional aides and others familiar
with what transpired. 
 First contact 
Trump first called Schumer at 10:45 a.m. ET for an upbeat conversation
where both men declared their differences weren't insurmountable.
Neither side wanted a shutdown, they agreed, determining that
long-term agreement was possible. Schumer warned Trump that the top
Republicans in Congress -- House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority
Leader Mitch McConnell -- wouldn't go along with any plan without
Trump's explicit support. 
Trump agreed. They decided to continue talking over lunch. 
The invitation came as a surprise to many of Trump's aides. As is
often his practice, Trump told few people of his plans to ask Schumer
to the White House for talks. When word emerged on Capitol Hill that
the New York Democrat was speeding across town in the backseat of a
black Ford Expedition, Republican lawmakers could barely hide their
Asked if he was worried that Schumer -- and Schumer alone -- would
have Trump's ear, the No. 2 Republican in the Senate cracked wise. 
"The thought did cross my mind," Sen. John Cornyn of Texas said. 
Inside the President's small dining room -- outfitted with a
flat-screen television -- Trump and Kelly sat across from Schumer and
his own top aide to discuss the outlines of an long-term agreement. 

Among the items considered: military funding far above the White
House's request and, enticingly for Trump, full funding for Trump's
border security demands. The border offer went beyond what was
included in the bipartisan plan conceived by Sens. Dick Durbin and
Lindsay Graham which Trump rejected last week in vulgar terms. 
The outlines of the potential agreement seemed promising. But it
wouldn't come together in the half-day left before the shutdown.
Schumer told Trump they'd need a stopgap plan to fund the government
for a few days. Trump concurred, said he'd discuss the plan with
Republicans, and promised to phone Schumer later with an update. 

Excellent preliminary meeting in Oval with @SenSchumer
[https://twitter.com/SenSchumer?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw] - working on
solutions for Security and our great Military together with
@SenateMajLdr [https://twitter.com/SenateMajLdr?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw]
McConnell and @SpeakerRyan
[https://twitter.com/SpeakerRyan?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw]. Making progress
- four week extension would be best!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 19, 2018

Trump was buoyant in describing the meeting on Twitter: "Excellent
preliminary meeting in Oval with @SenSchumer," he wrote. "Making
progress - four week extension would be best!" 

A White House official said late Friday there was never a deal reached
between Trump and Schumer, and Trump did not agree to a five-day
continuing resolution during their talks. 
Schumer left the White House after 2 p.m. ET, walking out of the West
Wing and into the same Ford Expedition. Standing outside the Capitol, 
Schumer was intercepted by a phalanx of reporters and cameras. The
usually talkative senator was curt. 
"We had a long and detailed meeting, we discussed all of the major
outstanding issues. We made some progress but we still have a good
number of disagreements," Schumer said quickly. "The discussions will
 Inside the Capitol 
Inside the Capitol, Democratic lawmakers flowed to Schumer's office.
Kelly, meanwhile, phoned Republicans to assure them Trump hadn't
agreed to any outlandish deals. 
A few hours later, the two men spoke again. On the phone with Schumer,
Trump claimed to have heard that House Democrats and Republicans had
agreed on a three-week funding plan. There was no indication on
Capitol Hill that such an agreement had emerged. 
Schumer, who hadn't heard of the mystery plan, told Trump he could
only agree to a deal that lasted a few days -- the same plan they'd
discussed over lunch. Trump's response: work it out with McConnell,
the Republican majority leader. 
Until then, Schumer and McConnell had avoided direct talks on Friday.
When Schumer called in the afternoon to recount his conversations with
Trump, McConnell told him to work out his differences with the
But instead of calling Trump, it was Kelly -- the retired four-star
Marine who'd sat aside Trump during lunch
-- who called Schumer. The outline discussed earlier in the day was
too liberal, Kelly said, even with a discussion of Trump's full border
request. It wasn't enough to keep the President negotiating.
View from the White House

In the next several hours, efforts to reach a deal fell apart.
Watching from the White House, Trump -- who'd tweeted with optimism
hours earlier -- expressed dismay. 
"Not looking good for our great Military or Safety & Security on the
very dangerous Southern Border," he wrote. "Dems want a Shutdown in
order to help diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what
they are doing for our booming economy." 

Not looking good for our great Military or Safety & Security on the
very dangerous Southern Border. Dems want a Shutdown in order to help
diminish the great success of the Tax Cuts, and what they are doing
for our booming economy.

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2018

Earlier in the morning, the White House scrubbed plans for Trump to
fly to Florida
for a weekend at his Palm Beach resort. Awaiting Trump at his
Mar-a-Lago estate were about 100 high-dollar donors, who paid in the
six-figures for tickets to a campaign fundraiser on Saturday night,
the one-year anniversary of his inauguration 
Trump had been looking forward to the occasion, people who spoke with
him on Friday said, who described him as upset at the prospect of
canceling the entire Florida weekend. 
"He's not leaving until this is finished," Trump's budget director
Mick Mulvaney told reporters outside the White House on Friday. 

By the time the shutdown went into effect at midnight, the White House
had gone quiet. The exterior lights illuminating North Portico went
dark at 11 p.m. ET, an hour before the shutdown, just as it became
clear the Senate vote had fallen short. 
The President had long been in the residence, likely watching the
Capitol Hill spectacle unfold on television. His aides left the West
Wing well before the midnight deadline. 






	* [https://portside.org/node/16335/printable/print]







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