Steve October 8, 2020

During a discussion about President Super-Spreader’s tweet on Tuesday saying he was pulling the plug on coronavirus relief negotiations that sent the stock markets reeling, Fox host Melissa Francis played cleanup for Dear Leader on this Wednesday’s Outnumbered during a discussion on where the discussions on any further relief was headed from here.

After the lone Democrat on the panel, Marie Harf pointed out that the markets along with Senate Republicans (namely, those in tough races) were spooked by Trump’s tweet, and that was likely why we saw Trump almost immediately try to walk it back, Francis proceeded to do damage control for Trump and pretend his reckless tweet was actually some super genius negotiating tactic.

FRANCIS: Harris, Marie is right. The market was spooked. I actually think that maybe that was Tweety McTreason’s intention. He did the classic stand up and walk away from the table, and let everyone see what happens if negotiations stop.

By coming back and saying, let’s do the stand-alone thing, we know what we knew before—that he much like Marie said does want very much something to happen. He does want a bill.

So we are kind of back where we were. Do you think that those who were resisting bringing this over the finish line feel any more pressure today than they did yesterday?

That was too much even for her cohost Harris Faulkner, who quickly shot down the notion that any of them should be making assumptions about what’s going through Trump’s head.

FAULKNER: Look, I think everybody feels pressure, and I wouldn’t assume to know what the president’s intentions were unless I personally ask him. I’m happy to do that. But I would say what the effect of what he did was a back-and-forth.

The Washington Post reported that the real reason Trump pulled the plug was because Mitch McConnell told him that Pelosi was just “stringing him along,” and, as Joan McCarter discussed “nothing would work better on Trump than telling him a powerful woman was trying to make a fool out of him.”

But, since the other thing he actually cares about is the stock market, that’s likely the reason he immediately started to walk the comments back.

Trump cares about staying in power. He could care less how many people suffer because he and his party won’t negotiate in good faith on a relief package. And, as McCarter also noted in her post, neither does Mitch McConnell:

“The economy needs another round of fiscal support with aid to households, small and midsized firms and states,” R. Glenn Hubbard, a Columbia University economist who was chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush told the Times. “Failing to act will have real economic consequences.”

It seems like that’s McConnell’s actual plan. He’s reading the polls like everyone else and is as aware as anyone that Republicans are likely to lose not just the White House, but the Senate. So he can absolutely wreck the economy for President Joe Biden, and then further cripple him in his first year in his efforts to fix anything by stacking the Supreme Court entirely against him. The people of America are just his collateral damage.