Trump has been conspicuously absent from all of the coronavirus relief package negotiations, instead choosing to have Steve Mnuchin and Mark Meadows out there to do his dirty work for him, with no sign whatsoever that Meadows was there for anything more than political theater and sabotaging the talks, rather than actually negotiating in good faith.
After their mission was accomplished and the talks broke down again this week, Trump made yet another appearance at his golf club in New Jersey yesterday and signed some supposed "executive orders," most of which, as we discussed here, weren't actually executive orders, all of which are legally dubious, and none of which are actually going to do much for working Americans in crisis across the country.
Trump trade adviser Peter Navarro made an appearance on this Sunday's Meet the Press, and was asked about whether they still need to work with the Congress to get something more substantial passed, the fact that the orders Trump signed are legally dubious at best, and where the negotiations go from here, and Navarro used the occasion to immediately take a cheap swipe at Pelosi, before berating her for supposedly being "cruel" to them:
Todd followed up by actually pointing out that Trump has been AWOL from the negotiations, choosing to run off to his club and play golf all weekend instead, which was met with this bit of ridiculous gaslighting by Navarro:
PETER NAVARRO: Let me say one -- yeah, go ahead.
CHUCK TODD: Yeah. No, let me ask you this. Where is the president? Why was he at his golf club all weekend? Why isn't he negotiating? Look, I understand --
PETER NAVARRO: Hang on. Let me, let me respond --
CHUCK TODD: -- you guys don't like each other.
PETER NAVARRO: -- to that. That is not --
CHUCK TODD: That Nancy Pelosi and the president --
PETER NAVARRO: Hang on.
CHUCK TODD: Where is he?
PETER NAVARRO: Well, he --
CHUCK TODD: Why isn't he involved?
PETER NAVARRO: Look, you have to understand this is the hardest working president in history. He works 24/7. He can be in Bedminster, Mar-a-Lago, the Oval Office, or anywhere in between. He can be at the Whirlpool factory, like we were on Thursday, celebrating working men and women benefiting from tariffs. He's working 24/7. The problem here, the problem here is Capitol Hill, the swamp, two houses that are too far apart.
I mean, the Lord and the founding fathers created executive orders because of partisan bickering and divided government. That's what we have here. But the president's taken action. His constituency -- let's be clear. His constituency is mainstream Republicans, blue collar Democrats, and independents who are sick and tired of the swamp. And he reached out and he took action. You know, he didn't have to --
CHUCK TODD: Let me ask you this --
PETER NAVARRO: -- sign those executive orders. He could have just let this keep going, but he did not do that--
CHUCK TODD: But you just --
PETER NAVARRO: He took action, action, action--
CHUCK TODD: All right.
PETER NAVARRO: --and action.
CHUCK TODD: Okay. You outline what a -- how a negotiation works. And you did something very interesting. You said, "Okay, the Democrats are at $3 trillion. The Republicans are at $1 trillion. You've got to figure out where to meet in the middle." That's what the Democrats proposed.
PETER NAVARRO: No, no, no --
CHUCK TODD: They said, "Hey--"
PETER NAVARRO: Hey Chuck.
CHUCK TODD: --"let's meet in the middle on a number --"
PETER NAVARRO: Chuck. Let's be clear.
CHUCK TODD: -- and it looks Mark Meadows said no.
Which is exactly what happened. Trump cares about one thing... getting reelected and keeping himself out of prison by staying in power. Back in June The Washington Post reported that Trump was "bored with coronavirus." He's still in denial, and hasn't gotten any better since.