December 23, 2020

After Trump released his strange, lie-ridden hostage video last night, CNN's John Berman asked White House correspondent John Harwood about Trump issuing "a threat of the covid relief bill that he was supposed to sign. What is the president doing here?"

White House correspondent John Harwood said he wondered if, having lost, Trump was "choking psychologically on that defeat. He can't handle it. It is a blow to his ego and his reputation of the idea he's a loser to Joe Biden. He basically vacated the Oval Office for most purposes."

Harwood shared his theory that Trump, consciously or not, was trying to take other Republicans down with him.

"You finally had both chambers of Congress coming together on a $900 billion compromise. The president put out a statement, a videotape completely dishonest, and he read a bunch of provisions and said they were in the covid relief bill. That's false. They're in the omnibus spending bill which was attacked to the covid relief bill. They move together to one piece of legislation. He was suggesting Congress had put these wasteful items in.

"If he's vetoing it, it is not impossible that Congress would alter the bill to his liking. Congress may override the veto. If he vetoes it, many Republicans and congressmen who were so scared of him may not vote to override of the veto of the bill that he just supported. If he kills this bill, it would be a terrible blow to those candidates in Georgia who Mitch McConnell was trying to help with this bill. The president, when he was asking about Republicans down ballot, he said all these Republicans won and I am the one who lost, that offended him.

"He embarked on a course where he's trying to take other Republicans down with him by criticizing the bill they just voted for."

He's right. If Trump blows up this omnibus spending bill (and remember, this funds the entire government, not just the pandemic relief) and leaves it for Joe Biden, it makes things almost impossible for Republican Senate candidates in Georgia -- especially since they're running ads bragging about the $600 checks. Oh well!

While it's highly unlikely Republicans will agree to change the bill (they probably have a veto-proof majority), Nancy Pelosi -- and other Democrats -- were quick to capitalize on Trump's statement.

Meanwhile, Paul Krugman continues to push for more unemployment benefits instead:

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