While publicly Donald Trump remains defiant as the government shutdown enters its 27th day — the longest shutdown in government history — privately, the New York Times says, Trump is telling a different story:
“We are getting crushed!” Mr. Trump told his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, after watching some recent coverage of the shutdown, according to one person familiar with the conversation. “Why can’t we get a deal?”
Trump, of course, can’t get a deal, because he’s not even bothering to offer a compromise, though Democrats may reject any compromise that contains funding for the wall. In the meantime, his staff had hoped he could use the State of the Union address later this month to help move public opinion, but Nancy Pelosi may have effectively canceled that speech. Given his performance during prime time last week, it seems unlikely that he could have swayed public opinion.
The public, meanwhile, has turned against Trump. The 2020 election is still nearly two years away, and Trump — like many — believe that the shutdown will be long forgotten by then (assuming it’s open by 2020), but the numbers nevertheless look very bad for the President. According to an NRP poll, only 30 percent of registered voters say they will vote for him in 2020; 57 percent say they definitely will not. A similar poll during Obama’s second term showed that 48 percent would definitely vote against him; ultimately, 47 percent did vote against him. I don’t mean to highlight the obvious, but Trump can’t win if 57 percent of the population votes against him.
It’s not all roses for Trump even within the Republican party, either, as another poll shows at this point in the election cycle, 44 percent of Republicans want someone to challenge Trump for the GOP nomination, against only 45 percent who do not. The numbers within his base are slipping, especially among suburban men and evangelicals.
You know things are going bad when the FBI has to open a food bank. THE FBI!
The @NewYorkFBI has started a food bank. "As you all know, the public does not realize the impact that a shutdown has on the FBI or on our families."— Adam Goldman (@adamgoldmanNYT) January 17, 2019
In the meantime, Trump’s 2020 campaign has spent $1 million in the last two weeks on Facebook ads trying to limit the damage. However, Trump’s 2020 campaign manager is also using some of his time to call out George Conway, the husband of Kellyanne:
Think how bad of a husband you have to be to act this way. https://t.co/JfeVtjFwgN— Brad Parscale (@parscale) January 17, 2019
George Conway seems nonplussed, retweeting a number of attacks against Trump this morning, including these two tweets:
Trump team's collusion denials:— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) January 17, 2019
1) No contact
3) Contacts not *planned*
4) Okay planned, but not re: campaign
5) Okay, but not meaningful or used
6) Collusion is not a crime
7) Can't collude if you don't know Putin
8) Repeat 6
9) Maybe *someone* colludedhttps://t.co/oNYCsymF2A
By the time Rudy is through with this interview, Trump will have to turn himself in at ADX Florence— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) January 17, 2019
It’s true, too: Giuliani is out there this morning claiming that he never said there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia (although, plenty of people within the Administration, including Trump, have). He says that he just said that there was never any collusion between the Russians and Trump.
Meanwhile, in completely unrelated news, this is not how you do social media, Senators. This is the bad Dad joke of Twitter engagement:
When I decided to study political science, this was….not what I was expecting pic.twitter.com/BnBgrqOAAD— Remy Carreiro (@Remy_Anne) January 17, 2019
This is the video they were too scared to retweet, by the way.
Header Image Source: Getty Images