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Trump makes infrastructure a bargaining chip in RussiaGate battle

Will this move the needle on Pelosi’s anti-impeachment stance?

Donald Trump is an artful negotiator, that’s for sure, but the beauty of that art is sometimes in the eye of the beholder.

At times, the President can be brash and bombastic – this much is certainly true – but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s a predictable or defeat-able dealmaker either.

Now, with Congress breathing down his neck in unprecedented ways, Trump is looking to curb the continued investigation into the inner-workings of the Mueller report.  The President’s latest escalation looks to bring a stagnation to the nation’s capital the likes of which we’ve never seen.

President Donald Trump abruptly walked out of a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., at the White House on Wednesday, telling reporters moments later that he would not negotiate on legislation with Democrats while he was still under investigation by several committees.

Wednesday’s meeting was supposed to be the second official sit-down between the president and Democratic congressional leadership specifically focused on infrastructure.

“I walked into the room and I told Sen. Schumer and Speaker Pelosi, ‘I want to do infrastructure’ … but we can’t do it under these circumstances,” Trump said at a last-minute Rose Garden event.

The President’s maneuver will undoubtedly bring more pressure from “resistance”-minded lawmakers, who are now likely to accuse the Commander in Chief of holding America “hostage”.

Trump’s language was unmistakable.

According to a White House official who spoke to CNBC on condition of anonymity, the meeting in the Cabinet room lasted only about seven minutes. Trump effectively said to the visiting Democrats that he wanted to do infrastructure, ”‘but you’re focused on investigating. When you’re done we can talk. Meeting over,’” Trump said, and then he left, the official said.

The showdown on Capitol Hill continues…

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