While President Donald Trump bounced all over the place on Twitter and in public over a budget deal to avoid a government shutdown, Vice President Mike Pence quietly worked behind the scenes to get Republican and Democratic leaders to agree on a deal -- only to have Trump humiliate him by blowing it up.
In a Politico deep dive into budget negotiations to keep the government up and running, it is revealed that Pence stepped in to work out a deal.
Politico reports Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) was unable to confidently work out with a deal with Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) because he didn't know what Trump would agree to, leading the vice president to jump into the fray.
"Yet while that procedural fracas was playing out, Republicans were frantically trying to come up with something they could put on the floor," Politico reports."The shuttle diplomacy continued throughout the day. Pence, Kushner and Mulvaney went from Schumer’s office to Pence’s own hideaway in the Capitol, where Corker came to visit. Then they went to the House side of the Capitol to negotiate with conservatives and GOP leaders, trying to figure out what could pass that the president would sign."
"As emphatically as he could, Pence had told senators that Trump would sign the legislation, only to see that backfire," the report states. "So Pence couldn’t sign off any deal with Schumer or House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) — who was even more skeptical — unless Trump publicly backed it first."
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-TX) expressed consternation that a deal couldn't be arrived at, saying of the volatile President, "That was my belief at the time. That was my belief at the time based on all the representations made. But as you know, things change.”
According to the report, Trump's repudiation of the deal left McConnell "steaming."