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Morning Political Briefing: Three Quick Things You Should Know

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | July 31, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | July 31, 2018 |


Here are three quick things that maybe you should know about in the world of politics this morning:

Trump Threatens to Shut Down the Government over funding of the Wall — The thing is, if he does it, people will say, “He always follows through on his promises,” and if he doesn’t do it, it’ll just be one of the many promises he doesn’t follow through with.

The thing is, though, is that it would be highly unusual, because Republicans don’t want a shutdown over the wall — in fact, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell have already laid out their plans for the budget, and it includes punting funding on the wall until after the midterms — and obviously the Democrats don’t want it. This won’t be a situation where it’s the Republicans’ fault or the Democrats’ fault. It’ll be a situation where it’s Trump’s fault, and if that happens, his base will blame the Republicans, which is likely to hurt enthusiasm even more among Republicans. That is to say, Trump would be boosting the Republican base to the detriment of the Republican Congress.

Sounds exactly like something Trump would do (that said, I’m 85 percent certain he won’t).

Trump considers another tax cut for the wealthy — Speaking of Trump’s base, he’s mulling a unilateral tax cut (without the aid of Congress) to benefit the wealthy to the detriment of Trump’s so-called base (and again, there’s more to his base than white, working-class racists. His base also includes a lot of very wealthy racists, too!) It would be a $100 billion tax cut to cut capital gains taxes, which is exactly what the Red-State, working-class Trump supporter is dying for: A haircut on his cap gains tax. Maybe they can take the money they save from their non-existent capital gains to pay for their non-existent healthcare!

(Another interesting irony: The $100 billion in tax cuts could pay for The Wall four times over.)

The Second Trump Tower Meeting — To reiterate, yesterday, Dumbass Giuliani essentially confirmed that there was another Trump Tower meeting in which Don Jr., Manafort, and Jared Kushner strategized for the Trump Tower meeting with Russian officials. Cohen was apparently going to leak that, but before it became public (and there are serious doubts about whether it would have), Giuliani essentially confirmed it by saying that the President was not at the non-existent meeting.

The danger in that meeting, of course, is that if it happened, and if Trump knew about it (as Cohen allegedly alleges), that means that Don Jr. lied to Congress, which could set off a domino effect of Don Jr. being arrested for perjury, and Don Sr. raising holy hell and committing all sorts of obstruction.

Something occurred to me in the middle of the night. Giuliani said that Rick Gates was at this non-existent meeting, and if that is true, then Bob Mueller probably already knows about it, because Rick Gates has been cooperating with the independent counsel as part of a plea deal this whole time, which makes Giuliani’s denials all the more absurd, unless of course the allegedly alleged meeting didn’t actually happen, in which case Giuliani is ever dumber for bringing it up, knowing that Rick Gates could have confirmed its non-existence.

(Header image of Kate Beckinsale, because someone in Pajiba Love last night suggested we use Beckinsale photos in Trump’s stead. I like that idea!)

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.