This week, President Donald Trump appeared to strike an immigration deal with Democratic leaders that had some of his most fervent fans running for the hills. But that does not mean, as so many pundits put it, that we suddenly have some sort of bipartisan “independent” in the White House.
That was the point that Seth Meyers made forcefully in his “Closer Look” at Trump’s DACA deal on Thursday night.
As the Late Night host put it, Trump first “stunned” Republicans when he made a deal with Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi on the debt ceiling last week. Then, after Trump’s dinner with members of Congress last night, “Chuck and Nancy” released a statement claiming “total victory” on DACA without agreeing to fund the border wall.
“So Trump initially promised that Mexico would pay for the wall,” Meyers explained, “then he said Congress would pay for the wall, then he said he would trade DACA to pay for the wall and now he’s trading DACA and no one’s paying for the wall. He might be the worst negotiator since Daffy Duck.”
Meyers found more than a small amount of joy in watching Trump’s “staunchest supporters, those who defended him throughout all of his most egregious transgressions” now “freak out” over his reversal on DACA. “It’s been amazing to watch Trump furiously backpedal on the one thing he promised his supporters, from day one, the central promise of his campaign, the border wall.”
But the host seemed even more flabbergasted by members of the media, from The New York Times’ Peter Baker to the Washington Post’s George Will, who are “engaging in yet another round of absurd punditry over whether Trump is a Republican, or whether he’s the independent-minded, deal-making president he billed himself as during the campaign.”
“Can we all please let go of this idea that Trump is some kind of maverick independent who is above his party alliance?” Meyers pleaded. “Being an independent isn’t the same thing as being a rudderless narcissist.”