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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Chaos

In Defying the Odds, we discuss Trump's character.

David Nakamura at WP:
After threatening a shutdown for months over border wall funding and vowing last week that he would “take the mantle” of responsibility, Trump tried to shift the blame Friday, just hours before a government funding bill expired at midnight.
“The Democrats now own the shutdown!” he wrote on Twitter.
That was news to Democrats. “You own the shutdown,” Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) responded in a tweet, adding a video clip of his meeting with Trump and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the Oval Office in which the president declared: “I will be the one to shut it down. I’m not going to blame you for it.”
“Yep, you said that,” wrote Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.), an enthusiastic Trump antagonist. “There are tapes.”
Katie Rogers and Maggie Haberman at NYT:
At points throughout the day, Mr. Trump refused to address the chaos as he further ensconced himself in his administration’s achievements. Speaking to reporters assembled for a bill-signing on criminal justice reform — a piece of bipartisan legislation championed by Mr. Kushner — Mr. Trump refused to address unrelated questions on Syria or other issues, telling reporters their questions were not appropriate.
In other corners of the rattled capital, his most reliable allies refused to defend him on his decision to pull back troops from the Middle East.
Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a reliable lieutenant in partisan battle, is now one of the president’s most vocal critics on Syria. Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, the majority leader, issued a rare statement that he was “distressed” by the departure of the defense secretary, Jim Mattis. Even Fox News, the mirror Mr. Trump has used to reflect the story of a presidency reshaped in his own image, has broadcast segments critical of his abrupt decision to pull troops.
Stocks are crashing. Heather Long, Josh Dawsey and Thomas Heath at WP: 
The Dow’s performance since Trump took office is now significantly less than what was achieved at the same point in Barack Obama’s presidency. The Dow is up 18 percent under Trump, compared with 45 percent at this point under Obama, according to Bespoke Investments.
Trump has repeatedly faulted the Federal Reserve for the market slide. But on Wall Street, many say Trump’s recent actions are also to blame.
“The market has lost confidence in the narrative coming out of the White House on the economy and trade,” said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at RSM, a multinational network of accounting firms.