In an interview with The Daily Caller on Wednesday, President Trump revealed that he did not blame Democrats alone for the failure to build the wall. Trump said that he had conversations with former House Speaker Paul Ryan in 2018 in which Ryan promised that he would make sure that the president got the funding he needed in exchange for signing the omnibus spending bill. Unfortunately, after President Trump signed the bill, Ryan backed out on his commitment to get the funding.
“Well, I was going to veto the omnibus bill and Paul told me in the strongest of language, ‘Please don’t do that, we’ll get you the wall.’ And I said, ‘I hope you mean that, because I don’t like this bill,’” Trump recalled. “Paul told me in the strongest of terms that, ‘please sign this and if you sign this we will get you that wall.’ Which is desperately needed by our country. Humanitarian crisis, trafficking, drugs, you know, everything — people, criminals, gangs, so, you know, we need the wall. And then he went lame duck.
“And once he went lame duck,” Trump continued, “it was just really an exercise in waving to people and the power was gone so I was very disappointed. I was very disappointed in Paul because the wall was so desperately needed. And I’ll get the wall.”
The Daily Caller asked the president if he felt that Ryan had lied to him.
“I don’t want to say he lied,” Trump said. “I think he probably meant it at the time, I guess. I hope. So I don’t call that lying.”
Say what you will about President Trump – and his critics have said a lot – he certainly is willing to give his allies the benefit of the doubt, long after any such benefit is warranted. The truth of the matter is that there was no excuse whatsoever for Republicans failing to get this done for the two years that they controlled both houses of Congress. The only excuse possible, and the only one that has the ring of truth, is that there simply wasn’t the willpower there to get it done. It’s the same lack of willpower, by the way, that you can palpably feel governing the course of the discussion in today’s Senate.
We’re sure Republicans want a wall more than Democrats…but we’re not sure it’s much more.