Trump Pounces on Chuck and Nancy in the Oval Office
RUSH: It’s happening right now in the Oval Office. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer meeting with President Trump over the funding of the border wall. And I think I understand what’s going on here, and I’m gonna try to explain it to you.
Greetings, my friends. Great to have you with us, as always. Telephone number, if you want to be on the program, 800-282-2882, and send an email to [email protected]
Okay. So this really revolves around what does Trump have, as in leverage over Schumer and Pelosi. They don’t want a wall. They’ve offered a paltry $1.3 billion. Trump wants $5 billion. He wants $5 billion to build a wall. Schumer, Pelosi don’t want a wall, but they have offered $1.3 billion as a starting point.
They think they hold all the cards. I mean, if they deny Trump any of the federal budget to build a wall as the incoming king and queen of the — well, she’s gonna be the queen of the House. Schumer is, course, gonna be the minority over in the Senate, but he’s still the Democrat leader there, so that’s why they’re both up there.
So Trump wants $5 billion. Here’s what’s happened. The original budget request for the Department of Defense, Trump did not give the secretary of defense, Mad Dog Mattis, every dime that he asked for. Trump actually has submitted a budget, or will, that does not contain — this is before today — the precise amount of money that Mattis wants. Pelosi and Schumer offering 1.3. Trump say he wants $5 billion. All of a sudden Trump has changed his mind on the defense budget, and he has told Mattis to submit a defense budget for the Pentagon of $750 billion.
This will be the proposal for fiscal year 2020. This is different from a previous promise that Trump had made to cut the defense budget. It wasn’t much, but it was still a cut rather than what usually are automatic expenses. The $750 billion number came out of a meeting last week when Trump got the lay of the land and figured out that Pelosi and Schumer are probably not going to come close to the $5 billion or agreeing to it in the budget, because this is all gonna happen next year. And they’re trying to get some of this done before the budget expires at the end of this year, government shutdown on December 21st if they don’t come to any sort of an agreement on spending for the remainder of the year.
Now, the original defense budget was $733 billion. That’s what Trump had previously said that he would support. Now he’s asked Mattis to go back and resubmit 750. The upshot is that if Pelosi and Schumer do not join him and authorize and agree to $5 billion for the wall, Trump is gonna take it out of the military budget. That’s why the increase from $733 billion to $750 billion. There’s $34 billion additional in the defense budget authorization or request than what the original number was.
And Trump is said to be thinking of getting the $5 billion, if Pelosi and Schumer don’t play ball — and there’s no reason for them to. They don’t want a wall. They want no part of Trump having any kind of success on his key issue. They’re up there talking to him. I think it’s exploratory to figure out what his mood is, to figure out where his head is.
But as far as the Democrats are concerned, they now run the town again. And since they have the House of Representatives and run the Ways and Means Committee in the House, which is where all spending bills must, by law, originate, unless presidents try to play games with executive actions and executive orders. But all legislative funding bills must begin in the House in the Ways and Means Committee.
So it looks like Trump, in requesting an additional $34 billion for defense, could simply say I’m gonna build a wall out of defense money, and I’m gonna call it a national security project. This is one of the theories that is being bandied about. And this in effect would be an end run around Pelosi and Schumer and anybody else in Congress, either party, neither of whom want a wall, if we get down to brass tacks.
But it’s key for Trump, as you know. It’s the seminal primary campaign issue that got him elected. Getting a handle on border security, illegal immigration, and building a wall. And I think Trump knows that he’s got to get something done on that score, especially now with the phony attempts to claim that private financial transactions between him and a couple of women who were trying to extort him are somehow crimes which would qualify as impeachable or indictable crimes. It’s just absurd.
Mark Penn has written a piece on this today which covers much of the ground we covered on that whole premise yesterday. And there’s some others weighing in on it as well who I think understand exactly what’s going on. When you compare, by the way, what one of the lines in Mark Penn’s column is that we are on the verge of going back to the horrible days of 1998, which is a period of time Mark Penn says we should not ever want to return to.
What happened in 1998? Well, that’s when Bill Clinton was impeached, and everybody thought he was impeached over sex. He actually wasn’t impeached over sex. He was impeached because he lied under oath during grand jury testimony and attempted to get other people to lie under oath, which was a direct assault on, of course, the rule of law and the Constitution.
But everybody thought that the Republicans were going after Clinton for sex, having an illicit affair with a 19-year-old, helpless intern who had groupie eyes and groupie heart and was take advantage of. And Penn says, we’re going back now to sex, we’re gonna go back, we’re gonna get rid of another president because of sex? And this isn’t even about sex. The SDNY and Mueller will say, “It isn’t about sex. This is about illegal campaign finance violations.” It’s not that at all! And, if necessary, we’ll revisit this to again make the point.
But, you see, here’s the thing. Back to the budget business with Pelosi and Schumer. Congress does not usually earmark every dollar in the federal budget and how it must be spent. They designate areas and how much money an area or an item or a department is going to get. I’s done, but very rarely does Congress actually specify dollar for dollar where money must be spent.
So in the defense budget, if there’s $34 billion extra and Congress does not say that the money must be spent here, and if they do not earmark every dollar of the defense budget for certain projects, that means Trump’s theory is that, hey, that’s the money that’s not earmarked, it’s not specified, I can take it and do with it what I want since I’m commander-in-chief.
If the Democrats figure this out, figure out this is what’s going on, then they might try to earmark everything, or they might try to put something in legislation specifying that not a single penny of the defense budget or any other budget can be used to build a wall — or, as they might say, “Nothing over $1.3 billion.” Now, you might be saying, “Well, if they’re totally opposed to it, why allow $1.3 billion?”
Well, it’s to allow them to say they care about border security. It’s to allow them to say that they’ve authorized $1.3 billion. It’s also not nearly enough to get the job done. It’s not nearly enough to build a serious wall in all of the places that a serious wall needs to be built. But it will allow them cover. It will allow them to be able to say (and for the media to say about them) that, “Hey, we care about border security. We worked with the president.
“But his demands were just over the top and unreal and unusual. We offered $1.3 billion, and he refused it and is now making an end run.” The bottom line for Trump is: Get it done. If he has to expand the defense budget by $34 billion and go take an additional $3.5 or the total $5 billion out of it to get the wall built, he’s got to do it. That is, for lack of a better term, the security blanket that Trump has.
RUSH: So right now the cable news networks are showing delayed video of Trump and Pence and Pelosi and Schumer in the Oval Orifice. No details on the talks yet, but I can tell you, I’m pretty confident how this might manifest itself, ’cause I really can’t see Pelosi and Schumer agreeing to this $5 billion. They don’t want a wall! They certainly… They don’t want Trump to have any kind, at this stage — any kind of success — on an issue, especially one that was his primary campaign issue and one they know is the reason he got elected.
They want him to crash and burn on this. So it’s gonna be up to Trump to creatively find money that they don’t authorize, and they’re gonna have to find ways to make sure that Trump can’t spend money that they haven’t authorized, because they haven’t earmarked it. Now, everybody in the room’s all smiles and everything. But we’re gonna find out here. You know, what does Trump have? What leverage does he have? We don’t know.
We know that he’s sitting on documents, classified documents about the Russia investigation that apparently are dynamite and will blow the lid off a whole lot of people and careers, and we’ve been told that he’s waiting to release all of this for his reelection effort in 2020. He doesn’t want to release it too soon. He doesn’t want it to not work when he releases it. I don’t know if any of the classified data he’s holding involves Schumer or Pelosi or would frighten them enough about the impact it would have on the Democrat Party.
So if he doesn’t have any leverage other than something like that or something we don’t know about, then it’ll be down to his negotiating skills and The Art of the Deal and this kind of thing and how he can make these people understand the severity and the seriousness of this. But, see, they don’t want a border wall, and they really don’t want a very massive reduction in illegal immigration anyway. They need their permanent underclass.
They need a constant stream of people that cannot provide for themselves and can’t speak the language. They need that group of people. The theory is that the vast majority of them are gonna vote Democrat. There’s also a story in the Stack here: 750 million people want to migrate. I don’t know how they reached them, but they’ve got a poll here that said 750 million people want to migrate, and the U.S. is the most popular destination.
This is a Gallup world poll that “revealed yesterday more than 750 million adults — or 15% of the world’s population — between 2015 and 2017 said that they would like to move to another country if they could. That’s up from 14% three years ago. The U.S. has consistently ranked as the No. 1 destination for potential migrants.” Really? That’s a shock. We are the No. 1. sought out destination now; 750 million people want to migrate to the U.S.
I ask you, based on anything that we have seen, everything that we’ve seen in the past two years: Who in Washington wants to put a stop to it? I’m being serious. Neither political party shows much interest at all in seriously dealing with this. The Democrat Party specifically seems to be just the opposite: Encouraging it, promoting it, and seeking to take advantage of it. It’s 750 million people — and, by the way, I think the number is small. I think it would be many, many, many millions more than that if Gallup’s World Survey could actually find.
RUSH: Now, we were rolling on it. Of course we’re gonna have it. Apparently, this meeting in the Oval Office — and Trump left the cameras in again, and you know what he does that, it’s always great. Apparently, he just took Pelosi and Schumer to school on the importance of securing the border and asking, “Doesn’t everybody want border security?” forcing them to say, “Yeah.” I mean, they couldn’t very well sit there and say “no.”
He’s telling them how legislation works. He’s telling ’em, “I’ll be happy to shut this thing down like we did last time — and, Chuck, you got the blame for it. It was called the Schumer Shutdown, and I’ll be happy to do it again. I’ll be more than happy to do it again. We’re gonna have border security. Who doesn’t want border security?” You know, and this is what happens. These two people show up — Pelosi and Schumer show up — and they believe that they’re having a meeting with an absolute idiot.
They believe they’re having meeting with a bumpkin, somebody who doesn’t know what they’re doing, and certainly somebody — Donald Trump — who doesn’t know how Washington works. They, on the other hand, show up arrogantly and condescendingly filled with uber-confidence thinking that they’re gonna take this guy to school. “He just lost the midterm elections! He’s on the verge of being impeached. We’re gonna have this guy in the palm of our hand.” What happens, as is classic in those kinds of situations, is they were embarrassed.
‘Cause Trump schooled them on how legislation happens and it’s gonna happen and that he knows how it happens, and that he’s more than willing to shut down the government! How many times have we actually articulated here that Republicans ought to be courageous about this rather than bowing to media pressure and bowing to Democrat pressure? Shut it down! The government gets shut down many times a year anyway. Nobody even notices. Shut it down. The media gonna say what they gonna say about us regardless what happens.
So do the right thing! You got something you really want and the only leverage and pressure you have is to take away something precious to them? Shut it down. Trump said, “I’ll be happy to. I’ll be glad to — more than happy to — shut it down and I’ll take the credit for it, because everybody wants border security, right? Who’s against border security? Nancy, you understand we need to secure the border, right?”
(sputtering) “Uh, uh…” And Trump made mention of the fact that she’s on thin ice with the Democrats in terms of the speaker election. I mean, he was in total command of the meeting, which I guarantee you is exactly the opposite of what Pelosi and Chuck Schumer thought the atmospherics would be when they walked into that room. Schumer was yelling at Trump at some point because he was just pounding on Pelosi.
RUSH: Chuck and Nancy are doing a little press conference here outside the White House. Our microphones are there. We’ve missed much of this, but let’s JIP it here just to catch the tail end and I’ll fill you in.
SCHUMER: One final point.
REPORTERS: (shouting questions)
SCHUMER: No, no, no!
REPORTER: (shouting questions)
REPORTER: (fall silent)
SCHUMER: Okay. One final point. The $1.3 billion that we gave him last year for border security — no wall, but border security — less than 6% of it has been spent. They haven’t even spent last year’s money, and now they’re demanding much, much more this year.
REPORTER: (shouting questions)
SCHUMER: Go ahead. Now, we’re just gonna take questions on this subject only.
REPORTER: Given what we saw in there, the bickering, back-and-forth, what does it say about your ability to work with this president over the next two years?
PELOSI: Well, I’ve told the president, as I’ve said over and over again: This new Congress will be something different from the Congress we have now. It will be a Congress of transparency so that the American people can see, not passing a tax bill with $7 trillion impact on the economy in the dark of night, speed of light, so nobody can see what it is without hearings or any expert opinions on it. So it will be about transparency. It will be about reaching out —
RUSH: All right. All right. That’s sufficient. What happened is that Schumer came out and started calling this “the Trump Shutdown,” started saying how eager Trump is to shut down the government. (paraphrased) “But that we — we, Pelosi and me, we — offered Trump two different ways out of this,” and both of them involve a continuing resolution. None of them involve actually doing a budget. Schumer made a point, “This is how we’ve been funding government for a long time now.
“We offered him two ways to do this, but he wants to shut down the government. He had a little temper tantrum in there,” Schumer said, “and these are getting little tiresome, but that’s the way the president is. We’ve given him two ways out of this.” Schumer made the point, “What happened to Mexico paying for the wall? I thought Trump said that Mexico was gonna pay for the wall, but apparently that’s off the table now.”
So, anyway, in this meeting, I guess Trump really got to ’em, really irritated ’em. They’re now out talking to the press and trying to reestablish a narrative for what actually happened in there, and as soon as I get the audio from the meeting in the Oval Office, we will have that for you.
RUSH: This is obviously a contentious meeting in the White House, a stare down between Trump and Pelosi and Schumer, and they felt it necessary to go back out to the microphones outside the White House and try to reestablish themselves as in control of the narrative and to try to paint Trump as immature and childish and had a little bit of a temper tantrum. But I wasn’t able to hear it either.
It was happening during the opening segment of the program, but reports I got on it were that Trump humiliated these people. He was just schooling them and telling them the way things have to be, the way things are gonna be, and reminding them that any shutdown is gonna be on them. He’ll happily take the credit for it, reminding Pelosi she’s not a lock for Speaker of the House election for the Democrats.
RUSH: Okay. So what happened is that Trump maneuvered Pelosi and Schumer into beginning the negotiations when they didn’t expect them to begin. Normally what happens is these meetings occur, cabinet meetings that we’ve seen or, in this case, Schumer, Pelosi, and the media’s allowed in. And there are handshakes and smiles all around, and everybody says how wonderful everybody is.
And then the media is ushered out and the meeting begins. Trump began the meeting with the media in there, with the cameras in there. And it took a while, Pelosi and Schumer finally figured out what was going on. They’ve seen this drill.
Trump ran this same kind of a drill during a cabinet meeting and embarrassed Dianne Feinstein on a couple of issues. And he does it occasionally. He did it today and Pelosi finally figured out what was going and was not happy. She wanted this open discussion shut down so that nobody, like you and me, could hear it.
PELOSI: We’re here to have a conversation in a careful way, so I don’t think we should have a debate in front of the press on this. But the fact is the House Republicans could bring up this bill if they had the votes immediately and set the tone for what you want.
THE PRESIDENT: If we thought we were gonna get it passed in the Senate, Nancy, we would do it immediately. We’d get it passed very easily in the House. We would get it – (interruption) Nancy, I’d have it passed in two seconds. It doesn’t matter, though, because we can’t get it passed in the Senate because we need 10 Democrat votes.
PELOSI: Well, let us have our conversation, and then we’ll meet with the press again.
RUSH: See, she doesn’t want to hear any of this. She doesn’t want you hearing any of this. She and Schumer did not want you or anybody hearing Trump give the lay of the land on this. (paraphrasing) “We thought we were gonna get it passed in the Senate. We could get it passed easily in the House, Nancy, right now. You’re not running the place yet. I can get it passed in the House right now. We can’t get it passed in the Senate. We need 10 Democrats.”
Pelosi says, oh, no, oh, no ’cause it’s border security. Trump’s got ’em set up here in such a way that they are advocating no border security. He’s positioned this so that they’re kind of in a no-win. They have to agree with the concept of border security in this meeting even though they don’t mean it in truth. They don’t mean it in terms of building a wall. They don’t mean it in terms of it of actually doing anything, but they have to say it. Common sense says any nation would secure its border. They cannot be seen opposing that.
But at the same time, Trump maneuvering her into agreeing with the concept. She doesn’t want that, either. So she’s getting very, very nervous. And Trump says (paraphrasing), “We can’t get it passed in the Senate. We need 10 Democrats who are not interested in border security.” And Pelosi says, “Well, well, let’s have our conversation and we can meet with the press later.” Here’s Trump again.
THE PRESIDENT: Chuck, did you want to say something?
SCHUMER: Yeah. Here’s what I want to say. We have a lot of disagreements here. The Washington Post today gave you a whole lot of Pinocchios because they say you constantly misstate how much of the wall is built and how much is there. But that’s not the point here.
THE PRESIDENT: The Washington Post?
SCHUMER: We have a disagreement about the wall, whether it’s effective or — not on border security, but on the wall. We do not want to shut down the government. You were called 20 times to shut down the government. You say, “I want to shut down the government.” We don’t. We want to come to an agreement. If we can’t come to an agreement, we have solutions that will pass the House and Senate right now and will not shut down the government, and that’s what we’re urging you to do. Not threaten to shut down the government ’cause you just did it, ’cause you can’t get your way.
THE PRESIDENT: The last time you shut it down —
SCHUMER: Yeah. Let me tell you something Mr. President. You just say, my way or we’ll shut down the government. We have a proposal that Democrats and Republicans will support to do a CR that will not shut down the government. We urge you to take it.
THE PRESIDENT: And if it’s not good border security, I won’t take it.
SCHUMER: It is very —
RUSH: And it’s not good border security ’cause it doesn’t feature the wall. The wall is it. They don’t want the wall. Trump does. Trump needs the wall. The nation needs the wall. These people don’t want there to be a wall. It would be a huge defeat for the Democrats, who apparently have just retaken government back in the November midterms. If they agree to a wall, then why win? Their base would be livid with them, even though a wall is a good thing, the base would be livid with them for losing!
So Schumer and Pelosi have to provide a stiff upper lip here and they have to be insulting of the president and they have to offer a bunch of stuff that’s meaningless. But we’ve got two different ways we can go with great border security. Trump knows there’s no border security in these two ideas. They’re nothing more than continuing resolutions which don’t do anything to fix the budgeting process, they don’t solve any real problems, it just allows everybody to get out of town for the Christmas holidays and say they’ve done their job to keep the government up and running.
And Trump, let’s face it, Trump’s got nothing to lose here. I mean, in the big scheme of things he’s got nothing to lose by shutting down the government, he’s got nothing to lose by insisting on this wall, he’s got nothing to lose playing hardball with these people on this. That’s the real thing. The only thing Trump’s got right now is his continuing level of support from his base voters. He’s got to hold on to that. If he does anything to start that wavering, then there could be problems. Next bite, Pelosi.
PELOSI: We came in here in good faith, and we’re entering into a — of this kind of discussion in the public view.
THE PRESIDENT: But it’s not bad, Nancy. It’s called transparency.
PELOSI: I know. It’s not transparency when we’re not stipulating to a set of facts and when we want to have a debate with you about saying we confront some of those facts.
THE PRESIDENT: You know what? We need border security. That’s what we’re going to be talking about. Border security. If we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government.
RUSH: If we don’t have border security, we’ll shut down the government. It’s only been two years, and it’s time to do this, and I really don’t think Trump has much to lose by insisting on this. They do. You know, they claim to not want a government shutdown. BS! They love government shutdowns ’cause their buddies in the media start blaming Trump or any nearby Republican for it. They love shutting down the government. Trump ought to call them on it. Final bite. This is Schumer, Trump telling Schumer he’s gonna shut the government down to get his wall and he’s gonna be proud to do it.
SCHUMER: Twenty times you have called for “I will shut down the government if I don’t get my wall.” None of us have said —
THE PRESIDENT: You want to know something?
SCHUMER: You’ve said it. You.
THE PRESIDENT: I’ll take it.
SCHUMER: Okay. Good.
THE PRESIDENT: You know what I’ll say? Yes, if we don’t get what we want one way or the other, whether it’s through you, through our military, through anything you want to call, I will shut down the government.
SCHUMER: Okay, fair enough. We disagree. We disagree.
THE PRESIDENT: I am proud. And I’ll tell you what, I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck, because the people of this country don’t want criminals and people that have lots of problems and drugs pouring into our country. So I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not gonna blame you for it. The last time you shut it down, it didn’t work. I will take the mantle of shutting down and I’m gonna shut it down for border security.
SCHUMER: We believe you.
RUSH: And this is not what they expected to happen. They didn’t expect any of this to be public. They did not expect to encounter a Trump eager and apparently willing to shut down the government. They thought they would run into a compliant, maybe even acquiescent Trump.
See, in their world, Trump lost the election so he ought to be humble. In their world, Trump lost the election so he ought to be trying to get along with them. They run the show now. I mean, the establishment won the House back so now they run that town again and Trump should know that.
And Trump’s not playing ball the bay they envisioned it and he certainly shocked them by having the meeting televised publicly, which is why they had to make a mad dash to the microphones and cameras outside the White House to try to reestablish the narrative. But I’m glad you were able to hear that because it’s a firm implantation of Trump and his position on the wall, which is desperately needed.
RUSH: So Pelosi tells Trump at the beginning of their meeting in the Oval Office that she’s got a new Congress coming and it’s gonna be one of transparency, unlike the current Congress, she says, “It’s gonna be transparent, Mr. President.” And then Trump, “Okay, fine, let’s do some transparency here in the meeting,” and Pelosi wanted no part of it, wanted it stopped. Didn’t like the set of facts Trump was using.