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Home https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ US https://server7.kproxy.com/servlet/redirect.srv/sruj/smyrwpoii/p2/ Inside the White House, the aides and advisers are despondent over a wasted month

Inside the White House, the aides and advisers are despondent over a wasted month



But the clapping belied and a pervasive sense of defeat.

Friday's announcement was an extraordinary comedown that left many in the White House and those who supported Trump marveling at the futility of the previous four weeks of brinkmanship. In the eyes of some aides and outside advisors, a whole fruitless month has passed that can not be recouped, and the waste of the most valuable asset of the White House has: President's attention and time

"A humiliating loss for a man that he rarely loses, "one Trump adviser said. "I miss winning."

Backing down

Backing down

Images on Friday of delayed aircraft at LaGuardia Airport in his hometown ̵
1; the same Trump's tarmac Boeing 757 is usually staged – sealed what had been a days-long realization that the shutdown must end, according to officials.

The previous evening, Trump heard from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in a telephone call that the Republicans could no longer hold the line in support of his border wall demands. Trump, who was briefed by aides on the law enforcement and airport problems, later phoned McConnell back to tell him that he was ready to end the stalemate

Top advisors, including Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and Vice President Mike Pence , presented him with options, including insisting on a "prorated" amount of border wall money included in a three-week stopgap funding measure, or declaring a national emergency.

These were both ideas Trump appeared initially to endorse. On Thursday, from the Cabinet Room he has repeatedly mentioned "alternative" ways of financing the wall and offered support for "prorated" wall money. But Kushner and other aides warned that a national emergency would prompt legal challenges and not lead to immediate wall construction. And when Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer balked at a "down payment," it became clear that only a bill with zero border funding would have enough support for passage.

New Political Reality

Trump remains hopeful that some moderate Democrats will join him in supporting funding for a border wall after the funding measure expires in mid-February.

Acknowledging a new political reality with Pelosi in charge, one adviser said the only way forward for Trump is " compromise, "with little room for the no-holds-barred approach favored by advisers such as Stephen Miller, the immigration hardliner

" Today is not a cave but a grave for Stephen Miller policies, "the adviser said, acknowledging it's not clear at all that Trump is ready to do that kind of course correction.

Border wall obsessed

During the shutdown, Trump remained singularly focused on the wall, declining to travel much and declaring at regular intervals that he was alone in the White House, waiting to negotiate . The shutdown made for the longest stretch of Trump's presidency that he did not play golf. What was supposed to be a three-week stay at his South Florida estate turned into an extended cloistering at the White House.

Over the December holidays and in January, he remained in the executive mansion alone while the first lady Melania Trump escaped to Florida. He remembered peering out his window in a moment of loneliness to watch "machine gunners" pace around the White House grounds.

 Trump sees the wall as a monument to himself

In the final week of the shutdown, Trump's cabin fever was evident. He started multiple meetings in the West Wing by sarcastically intoning "welcome to paradise," according to people in the room.

By the time he was speaking from Rose Garden Friday, the President was exasperated by his gambit had failed. The only redeeming factor: the announcement bumped news of the arrest and indictment of his onetime confidante Roger Stone from the cable news airwaves, however briefly.

A wasted month

Publicly, the White House has insisted that Trump's decision is not a concession. Nearly his entire cabinet assembled in the Rose Garden to applaud him as he announced a plan to reopen the government. And Trump himself sought to dissuade his followers from the notion that he had abandoned the quest for the wall in a tweet evening.

"I wish people would read or listen to my words on the Border Wall," he wrote. "This was in no way a concession. It was taking care of the millions of people who were getting badly injured by Shutdown with the understanding that in 21 days, if no deal is done, it's off to the races!"

His optimism aside, many officials have expressed true regret that Trump effectively missed a full month of his presidency on the wall battle, with little action or attention to any non-border items. By extending the battle for another three weeks, it's unclear whether Trump is interested in pursuing any other domestic policy items aside from the border wall.

Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and other senior aides have tried to measure what issues Trump wants to take up after the border fight – be it drug pricing, trade, infrastructure, or something else. But they've made little progress. Trump does not expect to meet next month with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but even those planners have taken second billing to the border standoff

That's a bad omen for some conservatives and policy-minded officials, many of whom say they believe Trump does not appreciate how finite his presidency really is.

Veterans of past administrations have tried to impart this to a little avail, according to people familiar with the conversations. That's left many in the White House, and others who advise Trump, feeling like he's letting a whole month go by with nothing to show for it. [19690010]

Souring mood

Two people who talk to Trump regularly said that over the past week or so the President had been in a very sour mood amid the shutdown episode – a state of mind that only Worsened as Friday approached and he realized he was losing the fight. Already a mercurial boss, Trump has lashed out at aides he believes bear some responsibility for the morass.

His aides and advisers were frustrated too, and he was disappointed over the way Trump was boxing himself during a fateful Oval Office meeting in December, where, with cameras rolling, Trump told Pelosi and Schumer that he would proudly shut the government down over border wall. He later sought to shirk responsibility, but his words were on tape. And he began steadily being outmaneuvered by Democrats, particularly Pelosi, who had been deprived of the trump of a state of the Union for a preliminary blow this week

For Trump, the border wall – which began as a rhetorical device at his campaign rallies – has become something much bigger, an extension of himself so personal that he can not let it go.

Measuring the Fallout

There is now concern among some Republicans that, at least in the short term, GOP fundraising could suffer as donors fume over his failed tactics. And the Trump aides is bracing for Trump's mood to sour even more, as he takes on the negative coverage of his decision, including from the right

"Good news for George Herbert Walker Bush: As of today, he is no longer the biggest President of the United States, Ann Coulter, the conservative firebrand, wrote on Twitter
Still, the government's reopening could allow the White House to move on to other issues, at least temporarily. Though as of Saturday morning, the President remained fixed on the border, sending out a flurry of related tweets . "The case for National Security has been greatly enhanced by what has been happening at Border & through dialogue."

Some aides are hoping the end of shutdown may eventually lead to a happy development- presidential junt to Mar-a-Lago. "At least he can golf again," one aide sighed

No trip is currently on the books


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