While discussing the Trump shutdown, and whether or not there's a deal to be had with Bad Faith Donald, Sen. Lindsey Graham actually had a brief moment of honesty on CNN's State of the Union when he admitted that it would be the American taxpayers that paid for Trump's border wall.
Graham contradicted Trump's talking point that somehow modifying our trade deals with Mexico is the equivalent of them paying for the wall. However, that didn't stop Graham from pretending that Democrats should trust Trump to bargain with them in good faith and that he won't just pull the rug right out from them once again if Congress manages to come to another bipartisan agreement on border security that includes some sort of relief for the Dreamers.
BASH: You talk about everybody changing their position.
I have to ask you about something that seems to be getting lost in this conversation, which is that, when you were running against the president in the Republican primaries and then all through the general election, he did say that this was a campaign promise to build a wall.
BASH: But he also said Mexico would pay for it, not the American taxpayers. What happened to that?
GRAHAM: Well, I'm not asking Mexico to pay for it.
BASH: But he did.
GRAHAM: I'm asking the American people to pay for it.
Yes. Well, at the end of the day, we will see how the NAFTA deal -- I think he will claim that Mexico is paying more under the new NAFTA deal. But I'm not talking about what he said back during the campaign. I'm talking about what we can do now to open up a government that needs to be opened up. The Coast Guard's not going to get paid here soon. DHS is an important national security function.
We need wall money. Democrats have voted for it in the past. The president's put on the table more than the BRIDGE Act, more than TPS. So I hope calmer heads will prevail.↓ Story continues below ↓
I have talked to several Democratic senators. There's a deal to be had, I think, if the president would get behind it, $5 billion for the wall, the BRIDGE Act, TPS, and some legal reform, and we can reopen the government and be a more secure nation.
Trump believes the shutdown is good for him politically and that demagoguing the border issue helps him with his base. I won't be surprised if Congress has to pass something that's veto proof to end the shutdown, because Trump really doesn't seem to have any interest in ever seeing it come to an end, and he can't be trusted to honor a single promise he makes. As soon as the yappers over on hate talk radio and Fox start attacking him again if he agrees to some sort of compromise, he'll change his tune like he did before.