After a disastrous start to his term and hovering at record low levels of popularity during his first seven months in office, it’s finally dawned on Donald Trump how much people dislike him and is now adopting a new approach to governing.
A top White House official told Axios’ Mike Allen that after seven months in office, the president finally realized, “people really f—ing hate me.”
Trump’s decision this week to work with House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, and Senate minority leader, Chuck Schumer, may signal that he’s pivoting to a different strategy in an effort to save his presidency: working across the aisle.
Earlier this week, Trump sided with congressional Democrats to bundle Hurricane Harvey relief funds, a three-month debt-limit increase, and a three-month continuing resolution to keep the government funded. The decision pitted Trump against leaders of his own party who wanted a longer extension on the debt ceiling.
House Speaker Paul Ryan had hours earlier called a three-month debt-limit increase “ridiculous” and said Democrats were trying to “play politics” by suggesting tying in aid for Harvey relief.
As the leaders appeared ready to agree to disagree, Trump reportedly interjected and said the group should go with a three-month debt-limit extension and a three-month continuing resolution.
One Republican told Axios that Trump “accepted a shakedown when he was holding all the cards … This is quite literally a guy who watches ‘ER’ trying to perform a surgery.”
The president, famed for his focus on the way he’s perceived in the media, reportedly basked in the praise he received from “Morning Joe” after the deal was struck, the news website reported.
Axios noted that by working with Democrats, Trump could be hoping to boost his popularity with the American public and engineer a turnaround in which he can blame congressional Republicans for legislative setbacks.