President Donald Trump late Wednesday backed off his threat to storm into the House of Representatives uninvited and deliver his State of the Union address in the House of Representatives without the consent of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
On CNN Thursday morning, host John Berman succinctly described what happened: “The president blinked.”
“He now says he will not deliver that speech until a government shutdown is over,” Berman added. “This is a full 180 in tone and in substance.”
Host Alisyn Camerota then jumped in to provide more background to Trump’s unexpected cave on the State of the Union.
“CNN has learned that the White House was caught off guard when Speaker Pelosi called the president’s bluff,” she said. “Sources tell us that the president is increasingly mystified that his tactics have not turned the tables on Democrats.”
CNN’s Dana Bash then explained that not only was Trump surprised Pelosi called his bluff, but he was “actively looking” for alternate sites where he could deliver his address.
Given all this, Berman said he was surprised that Trump backed down from his threats.
“They were searching for alternative sites!” he marveled. “They were threatening to walk up there!”
Watch the video below.
‘Aides to the president are not happy’ Gordon Sondland held the phone up in restaurant: CNN’s Jim Acosta
CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta reported on Friday that White House aides are unhappy with Ambassador Gordon Sondland for holding up a call with Trump in a restaurant for multiple witnesses to listen.
The details were revealed in bombshell closed-door testimony before Congress on Friday.
Acosta noted the administration was trying to downplay the significance of the call.
"But I will tell you, that the aides of the president are not happy that Gordon Sondland apparently held the phone up so other aides could hear what was going on and the words of the source familiar with the conversations inside the White House, the president speaks loudly, Sondland should know that," Acosta reported.
David Holmes’ opening statement to Congress directly implicated Donald Trump: report
Congress will hear first-hand testimony of President Donald Trump's involvement in the Ukraine scandal.
"David Holmes, the state department aide who overheard President Donald Trump's conversation with the US ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland, said that Sondland told Trump that the Ukranian President would do 'anything you ask him to,' and that he confirmed the Ukrainians were going to 'do the investigation,'" CNN reported Friday.
""Sondland told Trump that (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky 'loves your ass,'" Holmes testified. "I then heard President Trump ask, 'So, he's gonna do the investigation?' Ambassador Sondland replied that 'he's gonna do it,' adding that President Zelensky will do 'anything you ask him to.'"
Trump ‘blew up’ Republicans’ Yovanovitch strategy with bone-headed tweet: Former GOP House Intel chair
Former Rep. Mike Rogers (R-MI), who once served as the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, shredded President Donald Trump for his widely panned decision to tweet out smears of former American ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch.
When asked by CNN's Jake Tapper on Friday what he made of the Yovanovitch hearing so far, Rogers didn't mince words about the president's behavior.
"I think the president blew up any Republican plan to treat the witness with respect when he tweeted out this morning," he said. "So I think that kind of screwed up their rhythm a little bit."