Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, moderate House Democrats – is it a new day for Democrats in Washington, D.C.?
President Trump has spent the better part of a week flirting with Democrats on President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, leading some to question if he’s propping up Democratic leaders despite campaigning as a Republican.
Towards the end of this week, at least three extraordinary anecdotes came out of the press, all concerning Trump’s new friendships with Democrats.
First, The New York Times reported that Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) ripped into Trump at the White House for “what he saw as Mr. Trump’s presidential sins.” Trump, “to the surprise of people in the room,” responded “positively.”
Senator Chuck Schumer had just finished outlining a new Democratic immigration proposal over a working dinner at the White House on Wednesday night when President Trump stopped him with a simple question: What is in it for me?
Mr. Schumer, the schmoozy Senate minority leader, responded with a litany of what he saw as Mr. Trump’s presidential sins, according to two people with direct knowledge of the interaction. Those included pulling out of the Paris climate accord and failing to unequivocally denounce anti-Semitism and racism in the wake of the Charlottesville violence.
…Mr. Trump has been known to freeze out or tongue-lash critics for far less. Instead, to the surprise of people in the room, he responded positively, if vaguely, and laughed.
Then there’s The Washington Post, who reported that House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was able to command the room at the same dinner, on the same issue of immigration:
At one point, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross asked, “What exactly does the president get out of this deal?” As Pelosi, the only woman at the table of 11, tried to make her point — that the president gets the cooperation of the Democrats, which he will likely need on a host of issues — the men in the room began talking over her and one another.
“Do the women get to talk around here?” Pelosi interjected, according to two people familiar with the exchange.
There was, at last, silence, and she was not interrupted again.
Finally, Politico has details of Trump’s meeting earlier in the week, with moderate House Republicans and Democrats on health care:
After months of hammering Republicans over their failure to repeal Obamacare, President Donald Trump huddled this week with moderate House Democrats and Republicans who were trying to sell him on a fix to the health care law.
Upon hearing it had bipartisan support, the president had one question: “Can I call it ‘repeal and replace’?”
“You can call it whatever you want, Mr. President,” a Democratic lawmaker told Trump, eliciting laughter throughout the room.
The president loved that response.
Some Democrats appear willing to strike deals with Trump, and he appears eager to accept their overtures.
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