Todd Predictions: Trump ‘Caves’ on Wall, 'Functional End' of Presidency

Between the government shutdown and the resignation of Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, the liberal media have been quick to claim they smell President Trump’s blood in the water. Meet the Press moderator Chuck Todd said as much during an appearance on NBC’s Sunday Today where he predicted Trump would cave on the border wall to end the government “shutdown” and the “functional end” to Trump’s presidency because of Mattis’ departure.

Todd touted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for “throwing up his hands and saying, ‘you know what, Mr. President, you live with this. It's on you. We're going home.’” He pitched it as “a more significant break than I think people realize here”.

“He doesn't have any leverage,” Todd declared. “It's -- nothing's going to reopen I think at this point – unless the President caves, and he might. I actually think he might because what's -- he's got to decide what's a worst look, caving while Republicans still control both the House and the Senate or caving when Nancy Pelosi holds the gavel on January 3rd.”

Anchor Willie Geist mockingly added: “And now he's saying, ‘I'll take anything that resembles a wall. Steel slats, something, just let me call it a wall.’

When they began discussing Mattis’ resignation, Geist downplayed the conservatives who were against endless wars and boasted about the “many conservatives and Republicans on Capitol Hill condemning this policy” of bringing the troops home from Syria. “What does it mean for President Trump to have all those people fall away from him, especially General Mattis,” he asked Todd.

 

 

According to Todd, Senate Republicans were the linchpin holding the Trump coalition together. “If they break as a group, the President is totally on an island, totally unprotected from Mueller, totally unprotected from a lot of things,” he surmised. “So I think this -- we may look back on the Mattis resignation as the beginning of the functional end of this presidency.

As they were nearing the end of their discussion, Geist tried his hand at some historical revisionism when it came to Obama’s withdrawal from Iraq. He took issue with this tweet the President put out calling out his critics:

If anybody but your favorite president, Donald J. Trump announced that after decimating ISIS in Syria that we were going to bring our troops back home happy and healthy, that person would be the most popular hero in America. With me, hit hard instead by the fake news media. Crazy.

“I point out, in 2011 when President Obama withdrew from Iraq, he was widely criticized for that and continues to be,” Geist claimed. But that was highly misleading, because the only faction to criticize both presidents were Republican hawks. Back in 2011, the Democrats and the liberal media praised Obama for pulling out of Iraq. Now, they’ve become hypocrites.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

NBC’s Sunday Today
December 23, 2018
8:08:14 a.m. Eastern

WILLIE GEIST: Let's go back to the shutdown for just a moment here. So, we know there will be no vote in Congress until at least Thursday, December the 27th. So that's several more days of hundreds of thousands of federal employees will not be paid. How does this impasse break? If Democrats like Chuck Schumer have said “we're not giving you $5 billion for a wall,” and President Trump says, “I'm not signing anything that doesn't have a wall in it,” how do we break the fever?

CHUCK TODD: It's unclear to me. I don't know how it breaks next week and I think it's pretty unclear to Senator Mitch McConnell. I don't think people realize Mitch McConnell’s move to adjourn the Senate until the 27th, that's him throwing up his hands and saying, “you know what, Mr. President, you live with this. It's on you. We're going home.”

I think that is a more significant break than I think people realize here, that this is Congressional Republicans saying, “we have no leverage so we're out of here. If you figure it out, Mr. President, let us know.” He doesn't have any leverage. It's -- nothing's going to reopen I think at this point – unless the President caves, and he might. I actually think he might because what's -- he's got to decide what's a worst look, caving while Republicans still control both the House and the Senate or caving when Nancy Pelosi holds the gavel on January 3rd.

GEIST: And now he's saying, “I'll take anything that resembles a wall. Steel slats, something, just let me call it a wall.”

Let's talk foreign policy and that decision by the President to pull troops, 2,000 or so of them out of Syria. Defense Secretary Mattis resigned. You heard Brett McGurk, the special envoy to Syria, he’s resigned as well now. It's not just them, it's not just the press, it's conservatives, it’s Republicans like you mentioned, with some holdouts in Rand Paul, Mike Lee and others. But many conservatives and Republicans on Capitol Hill condemning this policy. What does it mean for President Trump to have all those people fall away from him, especially General Mattis?

TODD: Well, I would say as a group I focus on the Senate Republicans because they were largely more hawkish than the President, largely saw Jim Mattis as somebody they were more comfortable with, frankly, on foreign policy than the President himself. So, with Mattis gone, when you think about the Senate Republicans as a group, they are the single most -- they're basically what keeps the Republican Party coalition that props Trump up at this point or vice versa together.

If they break as a group, the President is totally on an island, totally unprotected from Mueller, totally unprotected from a lot of things. So I think this -- we may look back on the Mattis resignation as the beginning of the functional end of this presidency. Because, I don't know right now what Senate Republican feels comfortable going out on a limb for this President when right now they're so unnerved by how the process works. This is not over the policy itself. It's about how it happened. A foreign leader was able to manipulate the President into doing this. That's what's so alarming.

GEIST: Turkish President Erdogan is the guy there. Let me read you a tweet defending this from President Trump, chuck. The President writing yesterday: “If anybody but your favorite president, Donald J. Trump announced that after decimating ISIS in Syria that we were going to bring our troops back home happy and healthy, that person would be the most popular hero in America. With me, hit hard instead by the fake news media. Crazy.” I point out in 2011 when President Obama withdrew from Iraq he was widely criticized for that and continues to be.

(…)

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