Who are you and what have you done with Andrea Mitchell? The usually reliably liberal MSNBC host on Wednesday pushed Senator Tim Kaine to compromise with Republicans and the President on the wall. She also indicated that liberals may simply want to deny Donald Trump a win.
After Kaine trotted out the talking point that the government must be reopened before anything can be solved, Mitchell demanded, “Is there any compromise that would involve dealing with the border security issues first? Because that's apparently what [Trump] is saying in this Oval Office moment today.” The MSNBC host noted the “criticisms from Republicans that there's been no give on the Democratic side.”
She also highlighted, perhaps in a worried tone, the way in which Trump could win by declaring an emergency: “If he declares a national emergency at the border and wants to take Pentagon money, he's got a lot of leverage. You could challenge him in court, but unless you get an injunction this thing could start [building the wall].”
After Kaine insisted that some sort of compromise is possible, Mitchell told him that “involves something for a wall or a fence or something.”
During CBS’s live coverage of the address to the nation on Tuesday, Mireya Villarrea indicated that opposition may be driven by Democrats who want to deny Trump victory.
It seems as though a few journalists are coming around to the idea that compromise may, in fact, be a two way street.
A partial transcript is below. Click “expand” to read more.
Andrea Mitchell Reports
January 9, 2019
12:33 p.m. Eastern
ANDREA MITCHELL: Joining me now is Senator Tim Kaine. Senator, you watched the speech last night and we're go back when the president starts taking questions. But from the speech last night, and criticisms from Republicans that there's been no give on the Democratic side, now, let me posit that the President has to come down from 5.7 billion. But is there something in the middle? Republicans saying to me if you started with $2 billion and threw in something for DACA and something for TPS for the Haitian refugees and others who you well know have been here for years.
TIM KAINE: Absolutely.
MITCHELL: For decades. 40,000 who shouldn’t be deported. If you gave them protection isn't there a compromise to be made?
KAINE: Sure there is. First, reopen government.
KAINE: Second, is there a compromise on border security and immigration? Of course, there is.
MITCHELL: Which involves something for a wall or a fence or something?
KAINE: Border security funding for something Democrats want and, Andrea, we took that to him in February.
MITCHELL: Is there any compromise that would involve dealing with the border security issues first because that's apparently what he is saying in this Oval Office moment today.
MITCHELL: What about the defense issues? If he declares a national emergency at the border and wants to take Pentagon money, he's got a lot of leverage. You could challenge him in court but unless you get an injunction this thing could start.
MITCHELL: You've got Republicans saying, “Look, the Democrats clearly you've got leverage now in the House side but that the Democrats just want to punish the President and win political points.”
KAINE: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Who is punishing who? It's this president that is punishing the federal workers in Virginia who write to me
MITCHELL: Lindsey Graham, your colleague on the Republican side had something to say about all this. Just I guess moments ago on Capitol Hill. Let's watch.
GARRETT HAAKE: On the shutdown, why not re-open the government while this gets fought out? Why shouldn't federal workers in South Carolina get paid while y'all are figuring it out.
LINDSEY GRAHAM: We can reimburse the federal worker and I know it's going to be inconvenient and financial hardship and I hate that but this is the best chance I've seen to force a solution to border security.
MITCHELL: Your response to that?