Opinion| Say what you will about Donald Trump, there’s no denying he’s a one tough negotiator.
President Trump brought his hammer to the Rose Garden where he fielded questions from the press.
After a barrage of questions where the president said he was prepared to keep the government closed indefinitely – for a year or more if necessary – to secure funding for a border wall, he was assailed for not caring enough about the furloughed workers.
Trump could have turned this question around on reporters and asked them whether they posed the same question of Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. After all, they’re the big government liberals.
Trump chose to take the high road, instead assuring the gathered press that Democrats would want to make a deal because he had a lot to offer them (DACA) and even gave them credit for caring about national security.
When they kept pressing the president, he finally said:
Trump says he's considering calling a "national emergency" to secure funding to construct border wall: "I haven't done it. I may do it. I may do it." pic.twitter.com/DUFZSzSWjo
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) January 4, 2019
“We can call a national emergency because of the security of our country. Absolutely. No, we can do it. I haven’t done it. I may do it. I may do it. But we can call a national emergency and build it very quickly, and it’s another way of doing it.
But, if we can do it through a negotiated process, we’re giving that a shot.”
Trump is a master of creating leverage where none exists and then using it to “convince” his negotiating partners to do what’s in their best interests.
Trump is offering Schumer and Pelosi an olive branch of sorts. Give him the money for the wall and he’ll make it worth their while.
Otherwise, he can declare a national emergency at the border and they get nothing. It would also force everyone in both Houses of Congress – Democrat and Republican – to disclose where they stand on this important national security issue by accepting Trump’s declaration or voting to shut him down.
Trump is prepared to let the electoral chips fall where they may. Can his opponents say the same thing, and mean it?