Today, the White House began to backpedal after threatening to shut down the government if Democrats refused to hand over $5 billion for President Trump’s pointless border wall. But the threat of a #TrumpShutdown looms, as Senate Republicans’ fallback position contemplates a nonstarter $1 billion “slush fund” for unspecified immigration enforcement measures and the White House suggests that it may raid funds from other government agencies.
To be clear, the White House isn’t backing down because they want to avoid a shutdown for the country, but because it’s becoming increasingly clear that they have no political chance of winning.
While the midterms were pointing towards a Democratic victory, the Republican party and its allies in conservative media gambled everything on the racist, anti-immigration strategy of family separations and caravan fearmongering set by President Trump. They lost that gamble.
A recent Gallup poll showed that 75 percent of Americans believe that immigration moves the country in a positive direction. As for the GOP, many analyses have shown that Trump’s immigration strategy backfired on the party. According to one analysis, GOP candidates and party groups ran more than 280,000 anti-immigration ads on MS-13 gangs, open borders, “sanctuary” cities, and the caravan, which ultimately caused them to lose ground in the midterms.
Trump dreaded having to go back to his base empty-handed, having already abandoned his promise that Mexico would pay for the wall, and with the new House Majority his dream of a monument to hate is dead. Too bad.
TIME TO PAY THE PIPER.
In a rare look inside the Special Counsel’s investigation into the Trump campaign’s collusion with Russia, sources speaking to The Daily Beast reveal that Robert Mueller and his investigators are ready to detail what they have discovered about conversations between associates of Trump and Russian officials regarding the easing of Obama-era sanctions.
According to the report, new court filings by Mueller will show “specific policy changes” they discussed and what the Kremlin hoped to gain in return for its work to help elect Trump.
One likely subject of Mueller’s focus: five December 2016 phone calls between Trump’s first national security adviser Michael Flynn and the Russian ambassador, during which they coordinated to undermine Obama’s efforts to sanction Russia. Sentencing memos from Mueller’s team show they believe Flynn’s lies about those calls were material, not just to what happened during the transition but to the campaign as well, a clear sign they consider the conversations part of a quid pro quo between Trump’s team and the Kremlin.
The Moscow Project has been tracking the ongoing stories about sanctions relief, from the Trump campaign’s decision to weaken the Republican Party’s platform on Russia’s illegal invasion of Crimea to the administration’s efforts to undermine new sanctions, and how they add up to a clear exchange for Russia’s help during the 2016 election. Trump has undermined every effort to punish Russia for its attacks while undermining the Western alliances that held Russian President Vladimir Putin accountable – a clear sign of his debt to Putin.
Follow The Moscow Project for everything you need to know about Russian collusion.