When Special Counsel Robert Mueller had the FBI arrest Roger Stone this morning, it became clear that Donald Trump was going to have to change the subject. When the FAA began shutting down New York’s LaGuardia airport out of necessity a few hours later, it became clear that Trump was going to have to end his government shutdown today. Sure enough, he caved in swift and stunning, if predictably incoherent, fashion.
Donald Trump gave a long and rambling speech in the White House Rose Garden today. Most of it was varying degrees of unintelligible. But the only part you need to know is this: Trump agreed to reopen the federal government for three weeks, without any funding at all for his border wall. This was precisely what Trump said he’d never do. So what happens in three weeks?
In short, nothing. Trump kept hinting during his speech that he’ll magically declare a national emergency in three weeks and build his wall that way, but that’s always been an empty, laughable threat. Trump’s speech made it fairly clear that he was protesting too much, and that he’s done with this shutdown business entirely. Three weeks from now, the public and the media will have moved on from focusing on the shutdown and the wall, and he can then quietly sign a new budget without any wall funding.
The bad news for Donald Trump is that three weeks from now, the primary focus of the nation will likely be on who all else gets arrested between now and then. The wording of the Roger Stone indictment strongly suggests that his arrest is a precursor to far bigger moves coming soon on the part of Robert Mueller.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report