A new report from Axios is detailing the January 4th meeting that took place in the White House Situation Room, where the President restated his demand for $5.7 billion in funding for his vanity wall along the southern border. The Vice President had just offered a “compromise,” on Trump’s behalf, to the Democrats of a figure of “only” two and a half billion dollars, but had been rebuffed. Trump was starting from the beginning again, intent on getting what he wanted and showing that the Democrats were the intransigent ones.
That’s when Trump’s new — or “acting,” or something — Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney, piped up and tried to offer a compromise of his own. A source in the room characterized the exchange as an attempt to find the happy medium, saying:
[that] if Dems weren’t OK with $5.7 [billion] and the president wasn’t OK with $1.3 [the Democratic offer] … he was trying to say we should find a middle ground.”
That, of course, set the President off. Not only was Mulvaney attempting to insinuate his way into a conversation that he didn’t belong in, but he was doing it at the expense of Trump’s hard-line stance of starting over at $5.7 billion. The President exploded, and the same source told Axios:
Trump cut him off … ‘You just fucked it all up, Mick.'”
Another source, confirming the details, told the news outlet that Mulvaney “was not reading the room or the President.”
For their part, the White House didn’t actually deny that the exchange took place, telling Axios,
This is an exaggerated account of the exchange that doesn’t reflect the good relationship Mulvaney has built over the last two years with the president.”
The context of the entire setting is that Trump was more than happy to make his Chief of Staff look like an idiot in front of Democratic Congressional leaders — meaning that he doesn’t actually value Mulvaney enough to respect him more than that. Coupled with the fact that Mulvaney’s first requested 2019 budget actually only asked for $1.6 billion for the wall, a much smaller number than Trump is currently requesting, it looks like more than just an innocent exchange that doesn’t impart the sense of friendship between the two men.
Featured image via screen capture