From the very beginning of his campaign, Donald Trump’s defenders touted his deal-making ability as his greatest asset. If we knew nothing else about the billionaire Manhattan real estate mogul’s potential to perform in the Oval Office, it was that.
He would make deals to solve the Israel-Palestinian crisis, to create jobs, to get Europe to pay for its own defense – no problem in the world would be out of reach with the author of “The Art of the Deal” in the White House. Like a Jedi Knight, he would compel all adversaries foreign and domestic to bow to his will, many without even realizing it.
And so you can imagine the shock when news broke Tuesday that the president had unwittingly agreed to support a Democratic version of a compromise to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act, or DACA. So complete was his surrender at the negotiating table that he had to be bailed out by his Republican allies who were afraid he was about to give away the family farm.
Worse for the self-proclaimed king of deal making, however, was the fact that it all happened live on television!
Toward the end of the meeting, the media was let in to get footage the White House would portray the president as a the great deal maker dictating to members of both parties exactly what he expected of them.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) sensed a moment, and pounced. She set the president up for his very public capitulation when she said, “I don’t know how you would feel about this but I would like to ask the question. What about a clean DACA bill now with the commitment that we go into a comprehensive immigration reform procedure?”
To which the tough as nails negotiator responded, “I have no problem, I think that’s basically what [Democratic Sen.] Dick [Durbin] is saying. We’re going to come out with DACA. We’re gonna do DACA and we can start immediately on phase two, which would be comprehensive.”
“Would you be agreeable to that?” Feinstein reiterated, just to drive the point him.
“Yeah, I would like to,” Trump said. “I think a lot of people would like to see that. But I think we have to do DACA first.”
Before Democrats could pop their champaign bottles, Senator Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stepped in to save the president and set the record straight.
“Mr. President, you need to be clear, though,” McCarthy said. “I think what Sen. Feinstein is asking here, when we talk about just DACA, we don’t want to be back here two years later. You have to have [border] security [in the bill], as the secretary would tell you.”
After Trump tried to push back, an audible cacophony of “no”s from the other GOP negotiators drowned him out.
You can see the entire bizarre segment below.