On Saturday, conservative CNN host S.E. Cupp opened with a scathing takedown of President Donald Trump's leadership during the shutdown debacle that followed his demand that American taxpayers pay for the wall he promised voters Mexico would pay for in the 2016 campaign.
"Cave, cave, cavey cave, cave," Cupp said. "That's right, the dreaded c-word so many Republicans had come to fear. The president caved after 35 days of a partial government shutdown that proved to be all pain and no gain for Trump and indeed the country."
Trump needs to figure out how to govern, Cupp said, and has shown no signs of doing so up to now.
"So now what? The clock is ticking. We have 20 days. Twenty days until America faces another possible shutdown, or maybe even a national emergency... But also, and maybe even more alarmingly, 20 days to find out if President Trump can learn how to govern," she said. "That's a crash course, for sure, but that's essentially where we're at. Can he figure out how not to repeat his mistakes, or is he going to wait for Nancy Pelosi to back up the car and run him over again?"
Trump is now an "empty suit" who has been exposed as a poor negotiator, Cupp said.
"We just learned that without Republicans total control of Congress to bolster Trump's unpopular policies and weaken his checks on authority, he's little more than an empty suit," she said. "The moment Democrats took control of the House, he was proven utterly ineffective, powerless to bend Democrats and Senate Republicans or lagging poll numbers to his whim. His powers of persuasion and his tweets, his idle threats, none of it was enough, of course, to move Democrats. By shutting down the government, Trump got the lesson he never had to learn in the first two years in office."
Trump "thought he stood on an island of executive authority," and Republicans did nothing to help him learn the ropes, Cupp said.