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Donald Trump was widely panned for blowing up and storming out of a Wednesday meeting with congressional Democrats trying to hash out a $2 trillion national infrastructure initiative.
Trump blew up complaining about House Democrats’ multiple, ongoing investigations of Trump, his administration and private business dealings. He said he would not work on any infrastructure plans until the Democrats dropped their investigations.
“If you want to talk about a representative government, shouldn’t leaders lead on behalf of the people as opposed to self-interest? … We cannot abandon our democracy for the sake of appeasing somebody who is completely focused on his interests only,” said Sen. Kamala Harris of California, one of nearly two dozen Democrats running for president.
It’s up to Trump whether he wants to put the work into being president during the remaining time left in his term.
“Being president isn’t another round of golf at Mar-a-Lago,” said Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Democrat in the Senate. “It is a tough job for any president and this president has had share of problems that he created for himself. And the question now is whether he wants to govern in the closing two years. He has the power and the opportunity and if he’s willing to use it.”
MSNBC host Nicolle Wallace, a former Republican who served as an official in the White House under President George W Bush, characterized Trump’s situation as a “downward spiral.”
“He started the day deeply agitated by what he heard from Nancy Pelosi, in his mind he’s got some bond with her, whether real or imagined, where she has good manners, he thinks she treats him with respect, she does treat him with respect and it really seemed to unravel him psychologically for her to accuse him of a cover-up first thing this morning,” Wallace said on-air later Wednesday.
Even Republican David Urban, who helped manage Trump’s 2016 campaign, appeared to criticize the president by making an unfavorable comparison to President Bill Clinton’s ability to continue to work productively with a hostile Congress even during his impeachment.
In his impeachment era, Clinton signed more than 100 bills into law, including legislation in education and health. Clinton pro-actively worked to project an air that he would continue the nation’s business.
“Because Chris I heard you say like you said earlier, it is difficult to compartmentalize and keep that animus under wraps and difficult to work through those things,” Urban told CNN host Chris Cuomo. “I think Bill Clinton was extraordinary in his ability to compartmentalize during this incredibly difficult time but realistically this is a much more partisan Congress than it was back then … “