Because you just can’t get enough of that sweet sweet “sh*thole countries” story, the Washington Post is here for you with an “insider” account of that immigration meeting. It’s chock-full of anonymous sources “familiar with the meeting” so you know it will be totally accurate:
When President Trump spoke by phone with Sen. Richard J. Durbin around 10:15 a.m. last Thursday, he expressed pleasure with Durbin’s outline of a bipartisan immigration pact and praised the high-ranking Illinois Democrat’s efforts, according to White House officials and congressional aides.
The president then asked if Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), his onetime foe turned ally, was on board, which Durbin affirmed. Trump invited the lawmakers to visit with him at noon, the people familiar with the call said.
But when they arrived at the Oval Office, the two senators were surprised to find that Trump was far from ready to finalize the agreement. He was “fired up” and surrounded by hard-line conservatives such as Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), who seemed confident that the president was now aligned with them, according to one person with knowledge of the meeting.
Trump told the group he wasn’t interested in the terms of the bipartisan deal that Durbin and Graham had been putting together. And as he shrugged off suggestions from Durbin and others, the president called nations from Africa “sh*thole countries,” denigrated Haiti and grew angry. The meeting was short, tense and often dominated by loud cross-talk and swearing, according to Republicans and Democrats familiar with the meeting.
Profanity bleeped for you delicate readers. The story repeats the Rich Lowry spin that Trump actually said “sh*thouse countries” and not “sh*thole countries” — providing the fig leaf for Senators Cotton and Perdue and DHS Secretary Nielsen to say that they didn’t remember hearing that exact precise particular precise exact precise phrase, but the president’s language was tough don’t you know.
Here’s a detail that Trump supporters will likely find too delightful to discount in its entirety:
Attendees who were alarmed by the racial undertones of Trump’s remarks were further disturbed when the topic of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) came up, these people said.
At one point, Durbin told the president that members of that caucus — an influential House group — would be more likely to agree to a deal if certain countries were included in the proposed protections, according to people familiar with the meeting.
Trump was curt and dismissive, saying he was not making immigration policy to cater to the CBC and did not particularly care about that bloc’s demands, according to people briefed on the meeting. “You’ve got to be joking,” one adviser said, describing Trump’s reaction.
LOL. You want the story to be true just so you can believe that.
On the whole, it’s Michael Wolff-style journalism on a newspaper scale, which means the reaction will be exactly the same as the reaction to Wolff’s book. Clowns to the left of me — meaning Leftists and Big Media (but I repeat myself) — will adopt the story in its entirety, saying that the story rings true, which it does. Jokers to the right — Trump supporters — will say the allegations of the story are all false because the sources are anonymous. (Settle down, Trump supporters. I’m not really saying you’re jokers. I’m just doing a song riff).
Here I am, stuck in the middle with you, noting that the story may well be true in all particulars or false in many. That’s the nature of stories based on anonymous sources.
As I always say, you don’t really need these somewhat questionable Trump “insider” stories, because it’s enough to look at what public Trump says. If you’re looking for a narrative that says he’s leaning towards Grahamnesty for DREAMers, and has to be pulled back from the brink by Congresscritters from the right, you don’t need this article. You need only watch the video of the meeting where he told DiFi that a clean DACA bill would be A-OK, only to have Kevin McCarthy yank him back a few steps rhetorically.
I guess what puzzles me about the story is the way it shows various lawmakers spending a ton of time and energy trying to get Trump on their side, as if the man were driven by policy. That makes sense for advisors, since they have zero actual political power. But Trump told lawmakers at the recent televised meeting that he’ll sign anything they pass:
And, Chuck, I will say, when this group comes back — hopefully with an agreement — this group and others from the Senate, from the House, comes back with an agreement, I’m signing it. I mean, I will be signing it. I’m not going to say, “Oh, gee, I want this or I want that.” I’ll be signing it, because I have a lot of confidence in the people in this room that you’re going to come up with something really good.
That’s Public Trump, not some caricature dreamed up by anonymous sources and leftist reporters. The quote is right there in the video.
So, GOP Senators, my advice to you is to stop talking to Trump about this stuff, except to the extent necessary to make him feel important. Go work out whatever you’re going to work out. Then, when it’s time to sign it, give Trump a fancy signing ceremony in front of lots of TV cameras and a big pen so he can sign his name really large. Nobody has ever signed their name so large, not even John Hancock, that I can tell you! And everything will work out just fine.