CNN commentator Philip Mudd is known for his extreme hostility towards President Donald Trump. Therefore his invective directed toward the President on CNN’s The Situation Room on Friday was no big surprise. However, what was unusual was that Mudd actually made a great case to fund the border wall, not so much for border security but rather just to get a budget deal done and avoid a government shutdown.
He couldn’t believe that there couldn’t be a successful negotiation to agree to an amount somewhere between the $1.6 billion offered and the $5 billion Trump requested. It is the art of the deal which is exactly what dealmaker Trump aspires to but which Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has been repeatedly rejecting so as not to give Trump any kind of win.
WOLF BLITZER: Let me show our viewers. The president just tweeted a picture of himself signing legislation into law in the Oval Office, and he writes this. Phil, he said, “Some of the many bills that I’m signing in the Oval Office right now. Canceled my trip on Air Force One to Florida while we wait to see if Democrats will help us to protect America’s southern border.”
And now Mudd replies with something that initially seems to validate Blitzer’s typical anti-Trump attitude but ends up inadvertently supporting Trump’s attempt at negotiating funding for the border wall.
PHIL MUDD, CNN COUNTERTERRORISM ANALYST: Can you — are you kidding me? I mean, this is a propaganda tool. The president of the United States is complaining because he can’t go on vacation? Is that the deal here? This is comical.
Look, look at the size of the American budget. The president’s asking for $5 billion. According to what I see, as a non-political guy who’s been watching this for 35 years, there’s been an offer of $1.6 billion. My simple math tells me these guys can’t figure out, particularly with the president, who’s refused to sign a bill approved by both Senate Republicans and Democrats, can’t figure out how to bridge $3.4 billion, which is a decimal point in the budget?
It’s not just about the wall. It’s about leadership, and this is comical leadership.
Comical leadership? How about the comical leadership of Chuck Schumer who just can’t stand giving Trump any kind of win on the border wall? Who between the two adversaries is completely unwilling to “bridge $3.4 million, which is a decimal point in the budget?” My simple math tells me if they split the difference that would make it $3.3 billon for the border wall. One could see Trump the experienced negotiator agreeing to something in that range, but Schumer just can’t allow even that “decimal point” win for Trump.