President Donald Trump may not have loved former special counsel Robert Mueller destroying his "no collusion, no obstruction, totally exonerated" claims, but the news from the hearings helped him survive another breach in his list of 2016 campaign promises.
Axios reported Sunday that Trump was concerned Fox News would notice he was promoting a budget deal that would inflate the national debt, to the tune of more than $22 trillion. The budget also added $320 billion in new spending. It flies in the face of Trump's promise that he would completely obliterate the American deficit in eight years. Thus far, he's added to the deficit, as MaddowBlog pointed out.
[caption id="attachment_1526531" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Deficit by President (Chart via MaddowBlog)[/caption]
Fox News didn't notice or decided that Mueller was far more important than Trump's new budget. Either way, it was yet another broken promise in the long line from this president. But it also shows his own hypocrisy after years of attacks against former President Barack Obama for deficits.
But Fox News not only ignored it, but Trump's favorite hosts also had little to say about the deal with Democrats. Just last March, Fox News almost had Trump convinced to veto a hefty spending deal, but he did it anyway, reluctantly.
"There are a lot of things we shouldn't have had in this bill, but we were, in a sense, forced if we want to build our military, we were forced to have," Trump said March 2018. "There are some things we should have in the bill. But I say to Congress; I will never sign another bill like this again."
Except, that's precisely what Trump just did, breaking another promise. Realistically, however, the last thing he wanted was a government shutdown as the 2020 election was ramping up.
"But perhaps most important, some of the key people who would normally try to dissuade Trump from signing a big-spending deal were distracted by the Mueller hearings," Axios reported.
Republican Reps. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and Jim Jordan (R-OH) tried to convince the president that the budget was a bad idea, but they didn't go to war against him because they were busy with preparation for the Mueller hearings.
"Fox hosts, including Sean Hannity and Pete Hegseth, also focused on Mueller and didn't try to rally the Republican base against the deal. Hegseth didn't tweet about it once," Axios explained.
According to a source who discussed it with administration officials, this has put the president at ease about having an internal GOP battle.
There may still be a conservative backlash from deficit hawks, but it certainly won't happen during the August recess.
"In September, it's gonna get bloody," Axios cited the source saying.