August 25, 2017

The Morning Joe panel took on Donald Trump's renewed threat this week that he'll shut down the government to get taxpayer funding for the border wall with Mexico.

It's a study in advanced algebra: how many times does a Republican politician have to say something so that even Mark Helperin won't conveniently forget they said it?

The last time this happened, it was George H.W. Bush: "Read my lips, no new taxes."

"Mexico will pay for the wall" has the same component. There is no way the media can deny that Trump actually promised that, because it was repeated so often on the campaign trail.

Pointing out that Huckabee-Sanders had no answer for anyone about Trump's flip-flop -- "he hasn't said they WON'T pay for the wall either, stupid-head!" -- the Morning Joe panel still expects that Trump won't shut down the government to get his so-called funding.

"The markets will tank," said Republican analyst Susan Del Percio. She noted that Donald Trump consistently brags about the economy as his one "success," and he's unlikely to want a drop in the Dow that would come with a shutdown. "Donald Trump is until he isn't," she said. "And he seems to get away with that."

Howard Dean agreed. Donald Trump will have to veto a bi-partisan spending bill to shut down the government. While that is unlikely, "this is a guy who could do anything." said Dean.

Willie Geist noted that "The Wall" was "Steve Bannon's dying political wish." And Mark Halperin said that Trump's unpredictability is the issue. Claims that the Republican Congress can "go it alone" without Trump are ludicrous. "They still need his signature," said Halperin.

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