So much going on. By now you’ve heard the FBI has arrested Roger Stone with indictments forÂ obstruction, making false statements, and witness tampering. It’s also being widely reported this morning that an “unnamed Trump campaign official” who plays a significant role in the indictments is Steve Bannon.Â At the very least, the indictments tell us there was lots of communication going on between the Trump campaign and Wikileaks. Martin Longman sums it up:
The Trump campaign conspired, colluded, and coordinated with WikiLeaks to disseminate stolen, private communications of U.S. citizens and the Democratic Party in order to seek an advantage in a political campaign. We no longer need to have any debate about that question.
What we don’t know is how much Trump himself was involved with any of this or to what degree the Trump campaign understood that Russia was involved in the hacking.
The latest news is that Stone is refusing to plead guilty. He’s bullshitted his way through a so-called career; maybe he thinks he can bullshit his way through the courts.
Several hours ago Trump folded on the State of the Union speech and acknowledged that he wouldn’t be giving it in the House chamber until Nancy Pelosi says he can give it, and that will be after the government shutdown ends. I don’t see that he had a choice that didn’t make him look even more pathetic.
Is our POTUS learning? His “border wall” bill failed to pass in the Senate yesterday. A Dem “no border wall” bill also failed, but six Republicans crossed lines and voted for both bills, while only one Dem (Manchin) voted for the Republican bill. This means the Dem bill came closer to the 60 vote “end cloture” threshold. What will Trump’s next move be, if any? Politico reported yesterday,
White House officials arenâ€™t sure of their next move.
But they do know one thing: theyâ€™re losing, and they want to cut a deal.
The president is weighing the idea of a three-week continuing resolution to fund the government, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) revealed Thursday afternoon, reviving a prospect the president has previously ruled out. Trump acknowledged the proposal in an afternoon meeting with lawmakers, saying that Democrats would have to offer â€œsome sort of pro-rated down paymentâ€ on the Mexican border wall he is demanding. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi quickly shot down Graham’s idea, however, telling reporters late Thursday â€œthat is not a reasonable agreement.â€
Especially after yesterday’s Senate votes, seems to me the Dems don’t have to offer anything.
It’s possible the Senate is moving in the direction of a clean CR to open government like the one it passed in December. Or, it’s possible that by some time next week the Senate will pass a bill to open the government that doesn’t specifically include border wall funding but which might include some additional border security money the president can play with.
Meanwhile, Trump and his people continue to demonstrate they have no idea how ordinary people live. It’s the “let them eat cake” administration.Â Trump’s poll numbers continue to erode. And his losing, on every front I can think of.
Update: Trump caved faster than I expected him to.Â Congressional leaders, Trump reach tentative deal to temporarily reopen government without wall funds, according to Hill officials.