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RUSH: Now, about the wall funding, there’s news on that, and it isn’t… (sigh) It isn’t good. Sarah Sanders apparently said today that the Trump administration is willing to take less than $5 billion in order to get the wall built. Of course, there’s nobody in that town that wants it. We’re always talking about Pelosi and Chuck. You know, Chuck and Nancy. Nobody wants the wall. There isn’t a single person, and the reason they don’t want the wall is because they don’t want Trump to get it.

It’s that simple. It has nothing to do with the issue and has nothing to do with stemming the tide of illegal immigration. They just don’t want Trump to get it. So I don’t know what backing down from the $5 billion… Sarah Huckabee Sanders said a few minutes ago that the White House could back down from its demand for $5 billion in border wall funding in this year-end spending bill.

If that’s true, it means the Democrats can get pretty much what they want and block anything they don’t want simply by promising to shut down the government, because that’s what’s on the table. “We’re gonna shut down the government! Shut down…” “Okay! Well, we’ll reduce the demand.” Why not just go with the enlarged defense budget and take the $5 billion out of the defense budget to build the wall like they said they were gonna do when Chuck and Nancy first presented their blockade of this?


RUSH: Kalamazoo, Michigan, first up. Hello, Bill. Great to have you with us, sir.

CALLER: Good afternoon, Rush. About Trump’s changes to the funding for the border wall, this is reminding me too much… You know how everybody’s been musing about George H. W. Bush recently. Well, this move, if it’s played out according to what you’re saying, I think that Trump may have killed off his chance for a second term in the same way that George H. W. Bush ran on the platform of no new taxes and then when he backed off of that during his term. He lost his support.

RUSH: Yeah. I totally get where you’re coming from. Let me try something with you here, though. I have spoken on previous occasions of Trump “pacing,” and the most recent example… Maybe not the most recent, but a very recent example is Christine Blasey Ford. Now, granted, that’s not an issue on which Trump ran for election and won. But after she came forward and said whatever it was she said, Trump’s first reaction was to say he found her very compelling, and that if there’s truths to what she said, that Kavanaugh’s gone.

Remember, a lot of people said, “What do you mean, if she…?” He does it all the time. When the first discussions of repeal and replace Obamacare came out, Trump said some things that made it sound like he was perfectly willing to compromise with Democrats on it. If I applied myself, I could think of five or six of these. There’s actually a very good one that’s not coming to my mind right now, and it was an issue before Christine Blasey Ford came in.

What always happens is that after these initial statements… Remember, it was Sarah Sanders on Fox today who said that the White House could back down from its demand for $5 billion in border wall funding in a year-end spending bill. Look, the only reason to do this… If they’re serious, the only reason to do this is fear of government shutdown. The ironic thing about this is that polling data is finally starting to show (even in the AP) that government shutdowns have lost their impact in terms of benefiting the Democrats.

There have been so many of ’em, there have been so many threats, and nothing happens. It’s like for 20 years the Democrats told senior citizens, “If you vote for Republicans, you’re gonna lose your Social Security! They’re gonna kick you out of your house,” and Republicans won elections and nothing ever happened to people’s Social Security. Seasoned citizens finally stopped listening to Democrats, and the polling data suggests much the same thing is happening here with this never-ending, “Republicans want to shut down the government and deny you your benefits.”

You’ve got Elijah Cummings of the Congressional Black Caucasians is out there saying if the government shuts down, government employees will not have any money to buy toys for their kids this Christmas. Are you kidding me? If they haven’t already bought toys for their kids, I got a clue: Your kids are not getting any toys. It’s December 18th, for crying out loud! They wouldn’t be losing any money any time soon. This is all smoke and mirrors and made up. Trump has… I developed a term for this called “pacing.”

Trump’s initial statement on something is to make it sound like he’s acquiescing or participating or cooperating and then he always retreats back to his original position of “no deal.” Now, I was at the White House yesterday. That’s why I wasn’t here. There was a beautiful White House Christmas reception yesterday from 4 to 8 p.m. I was there, and I got there earlier by request, and I… (chuckles) Look, this is not what I heard yesterday. All I can tell you, it’s not what I heard — or last night.

When I saw Sarah Huckabee Sanders on TV today, when I saw her saying that, I said, “I heard the exact opposite last night.” I don’t mean to be getting anybody in trouble here. But remember the original option on the table from Trump was, “If Chuck and Nancy wouldn’t cooperate, we’ll just expand the defense budget by $37 billion and take five of that 37, $5 billion of that and build a wall with it.” Even if the defense budget doesn’t expand by 37 just take $5 billion. There’s $5 billion in defense budget somewhere. Just take that.

That was what Trump was gonna do to get the wall built under the premise that the president can take whatever action necessary he deems necessary for national security. So I know this looks like “Read my lips: No new taxes” and caving on it. I know it does. I’m not here to defend it, either. Don’t misunderstand. I’m just telling you that it’s not unusual for Trump to do this. Now, on this issue it’s very alarming because this is the issue that got him elected. This is an issue that your supporters are saying, “Don’t tease us! Don’t play games on this. Stay straight.”

I’m sure that’s what a lot of you are thinking. I understand it.


RUSH: This is Troy in Queen Creek, Arizona. Hi, Troy. Thank you for calling, sir.

CALLER: Hey, Rush. Thanks for taking my call. Yeah, so I’m a married Millennial dad, two young boys, a beautiful wife, in a border state, here, Rush, and the reason why I voted and so many people that I know voted for Trump is for border security and illegal immigration. And I know that was a staple of his campaign, and I say it’s a staple of his presidency, and I say, “Shut it down.” Shut the government down, roll with the punches and, you know, just show us that that’s the reason why we voted you in. I think it’s paramount to his reelection.

RUSH: You think his presidency’s on the line now because you’re afraid he’s caving?

CALLER: I’m afraid he’s caving, Rush, yeah. I woke up this morning, I read the news, and I saw that the bill may be off the table — you know, the amount of money and the construction of the wall — and it just made me a little disheartened. I’m such a huge Trump supporter, and I just don’t like seeing that.

RUSH: What did you…? Are you referring to Sarah Sanders, that story, saying that maybe they would come down off the $5 billion, or did you see something else that has you concerned?

CALLER: I did, yes. That and the Drudge Report. I read that quite a bit.

RUSH: Let’s see. What did the the Drudge… Hang on a minute. Let me call to make sure ’cause I like to know what my callers… It says, “Wall Funding off Table.” Is that the headline that you saw?

CALLER: That’s one of the ones I read, yeah.

RUSH: Let me click on it and see what it goes to, ’cause that will tell us everything. Who is this? Okay. It’s CNBC. “White House Suggests it Could Back Down on $5 Billion…” That’s the Sarah Sanders. Essentially that’s what she said on Fox this morning.


RUSH: And I don’t know if this is shutdown related or not. Again, I don’t know if this is just Trump… Look, Republicans have an instinctive fear of government shutdowns and the fact that they’re gonna lose them. Even though there’s a poll out today cited this last hour the AP, the American people no longer have this conventional wisdom view that government shutdowns are the result of Republicans being mean-spirited extremists or any of that.

It doesn’t have the… The world doesn’t end when these things happen, you know, the Democrats can’t keep getting away with, “Your life ends if the government shuts down,” because nothing happens. Life goes on. So it could just be that Trump is trying to show his willingness to cooperate, to show that the Democrats won’t… Look, I’m here to tell you, Troy — and I’m not trying to talk you out of anything; please don’t misunderstand.

I’m just here to tell you, there isn’t a single person in that town that wants this wall. No, I take it back. Some House Freedom Caucus members are hell-bent on getting it. Jim Jordan and Mark Meadows are insistent on getting the wall built. Outside of those two and Trump and maybe some stragglers in the House, nobody in that town wants this wall. Now, don’t misunderstand my telling you that. I’m just trying to give you an idea of the obstacle this is.

There isn’t anybody in that town that wants this. Trump is all alone in this, and I don’t know whether he is simply making this statement and sends Sarah Sanders out there to send a signal that the White House willing to cooperate with the Democrats so that ultimately the Democrats are shown to be the immovable objects. It’s not the first time, if that’s what’s happening. I can just tell you, I was there yesterday.

By the way, speaking… Troy, thanks for the call. “I feel you,” as they say. I understand your queasiness.


RUSH: I just want to remind you all of something. From the very beginning, I made the point that the media did not make Donald Trump and therefore the media cannot destroy him. What comes next that I said? Hmm? I said, “The only person that can destroy Donald Trump is Donald Trump.” The only person that can separate Donald Trump’s voters from Donald Trump is Donald Trump. Meaning: His voters are loyal; the media cannot talk them out of supporting him no matter what they say about him, no matter what allegations they make.

Only Trump can do that, and I say this… We’ve had two calls today and both of are from people who are panicking. That may be too strong a word. They’re disappointed that this claim that the White House has made they’ll come off the $5 billion for the border wall is tantamount to caving. The wall, which equals border security and stopping illegal immigration… As our last caller said, that is why Donald Trump got the elected.

He was the only one that was believable when he said this was his intent. Voters that voted for Trump know that nobody in Washington really cares about illegal immigration to the point of stopping it. Those who said they did were not trusted to mean it. But Trump was trusted to mean it. So, look, folks… (sigh) I’m kind of between a rock and a hard place here because I was there last night, and this subject came up, and this was not what was discussed.

Now, this is not to say that people would be open and honest with me. After all, I’m a guy that has a microphone that reaches gazillions of people, and so they might not be forthcoming or they might not want to reveal what’s really going on. I totally understand that. I’m not lost in this belief that nobody would ever try to use me or mislead me to do something. But there was literally no indication of this. As I say, there’s no reason to suggest that I would have been given indication, either. But what I did hear was the exact opposite of this.

Look, I can’t say any more and I can’t attach names to it, ’cause obviously it’s a fluid the situation. I don’t want to put anybody on the spot here. I’m just telling you, when I saw Sarah Huckabee — and I saw her last night. I didn’t talk about anything with her. Just pleasantries. But when I saw her on Fox today make the statement, I said, “Uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh.” A little bitty warning tick or two started happening to me. But we’ll see. Time goes on and we’ll find out in due course. This is Henderson, Nevada, next, near Las Vegas. Brian. Great to have you on the program, sir. Hi.

CALLER: Rush, it’s an honor to speak to you again. And like your two previous callers, I was a bit down in the dumps this morning with the news also. But you helped allay my fears with your pacing comments about how our president responds, you know, the way he paces his comments back. So I wanted to take this in a different angle. I remember back in 2005-2006 when the McCain-Kennedy immigration bill was trying to be stuff down our throats and it looked like the skids were greased, it was gonna happen — and then a funny thing happened.

The heartland of America rose up and began ringing the phone lines off the hooks in Washington, D.C., for about a week or 10 days, and suddenly that thing went from the front burner to the back room, and eventually it was defeated. And what you have to say about our president is so true. He’s gotta feel isolated at times like, you know, he’s the only one out there, you know, putting on the armor and going to battle every day. So what I would like to see, Rush, is for the American people — the deplorables, the Tea Party folks, you know, the freedom people, caucus people — everybody rise up and support our president and hit those phone lines again, let Washington, D.C., know how we really feel about this issue.

RUSH: Well, I remember that and you are exactly right. In 2005-2006, they thought they had it in the back. They did. I’m telling you, you people in this audience and elsewhere in America — without being prompted, without being given any phone numbers or fax numbers or email addresses — Washington was overrun with public comment. It shut down operations. It shut down switchboards, and it just happened. It was organic, as I say, and that’s why they believed it in Washington. There was nobody out there pushing it.

There wasn’t some loco weed out there promoting it, claiming credit for having all this happen. It was just… Like the Tea Party itself was organic — and it did. It intimidated ’em. It frightened ’em much like the yellow vests intimidated and frightened Macron, except this didn’t happen in the streets. This happened with public opinion being expressed peaceably by millions of citizens. Your idea is a good one. I cannot emphasize… I would not use the word isolated, although it fits. But isolated carries with it a meaning or a tinge of loneliness.

I don’t think Trump is lonely. He’s just alone in this, on this issue, and he’s alone on the idea of his presidency succeeding. He’s got that entire town arrayed against him with every bit of power that town can amass. It is arrayed against Donald Trump. So I don’t think he can take ’em on head on. There have to be end runs. There have to be head feints. There has to be a little subterfuge, which is why I acknowledge the Trump pacing. He did it with DACA. He did the same thing when DACA came up.

He clearly sent a signal that he was all for the children, all for the kids, all for doing it, and he’s done it… Climate change. Do you remember when he had that interview with the New York Times and then when he was a candidate. Before the Paris climate accords, he made it sound like he was open to the possibility of signing on? And then when the pedal hit the metal and the rubber hit the road, we found out that he had not moved at all. He was just publicly posturing for the value of showing that he was flexible and was not closed mind on things.

So this is by no means the first time something like this has been done. And if the effort is, if the strategery is to try to demonstrate to as many people as possible the real inflexibility here — and remember the term the White House is using… They’re not talking wall so much. They used the term “border security,” and to the to the extent that Trump can demonstrate to the large number of people possible that the Democrat Party doesn’t care about it, he would consider that part of winning the issue.

‘Cause I don’t think he believes that he single-handedly can force a wall on an entire town that doesn’t want it. Now, he’s gonna need public support for it, but if he can demonstrate to people — and again, I don’t know that this is what’s being executed here in terms of strategy. But it would be really helpful if he could demonstrate that Chuck and Nancy have no interest and that anything they say about it is just a bogus lie, whenever they talk about needing border security, agreeing with the premise.

But they’re both on record — and so is everybody else on that town — as “No wall. No wall! Hell no. No wall.” That’s the last thing anybody wants in that town. He’s alone on that, and so I know you would love to see him become a steamroller and just, “Pffft!” power over and through everybody, but I don’t think he thinks that’s the way he’s gonna get there. And there are ways he can get this wall built without Congress signing off on it (i.e., the defense budget) as we have discussed previously.


RUSH: Here’s Sarah Sanders this afternoon. I guess this was at the — yeah — daily press briefing. There was an unidentified Drive-By interrogator who said, “$1.6 billion in border wall funding or continuing resolution to take this matter up after the Christmas break, what are you gonna do?”

SANDERS: The president threw out a lot of ideas. We’re disappointed in the fact that they’ve yet to actually vote on something and pass something. So when they do that, we’ll make a determination on whether or not we’re gonna sign that. In the meantime, we’re looking at every avenue available to us possible. The president’s asked every one of his cabinet secretaries to look for funding that can be used to protect our borders and give the president the ability to fulfill his constitutional obligation to protect the American people by having a secure border. So we’re looking at the other options.

RUSH: All right.

SANDERS: The president has asked every agency to look and see if they have money that can be used for that purpose.

RUSH: Okay. Now, this makes sense with… I don’t mean to be speaking in code here. It’s just that the conversations I had yesterday were off record and I was not there as a journalist. I was an invited guest. But I’m just telling you that this business of caving on the wall never came up. It was the exact opposite, and I’m telling you right now that when she says here that we’re looking “for funding that can be used to protect our borders,” the president is “looking at other options.”

He “has asked every agency to look and see if they have money that can be used for that purpose,” it dovetails exactly with what I heard! Meaning: “We don’t care if Chuck and Nancy are forthcoming with any money in this budget deal. We don’t care if the Democrats join us. We don’t care if the Republicans don’t. We’re looking for money to build this wall elsewhere in the budget, with the president being able to earmark it under the terms that he is protecting national security.” The idea of… I know she said that we’re willing to come off the $5 billion figure.

That sent some shockwaves through the troops, and I think she was clarifying it here, ’cause I’m telling you, this is consistent with what… Look, folks, I don’t know what. Last Friday that it was publicly posited that Trump could get money from the defense budget to do this by requesting an additional $37 billion and taking $5 billion of that to build a wall! And making them say he can’t do it! And whatever he does they’re gonna sue, they’re gonna take it to court, they’re gonna stop. Whatever it is.

But I just can’t see him caving on this. I just can’t see this as being “Read my lips: No new taxes” and then, “Read my lips: I’m raising taxes” moment. I just can’t see this. It doesn’t make sense with anything that was discussed last night. That’s why I was shocked when Sarah Sanders said, but she did say what she said. You have to listen to it. But this clarification makes a lot more sense, things that… I don’t mean to tease you with this. I’m just being honest. I can’t divulge things that were said to me.

It was not… They were not said to me to be repeated. I don’t even know if they were looking… (interruption) Yeah, they were giving me heads up, but it was their business to announce it what they’re gonna do when they want to but I think I can tell you with certainty that it’s not time to panic here over this, and if I’m wrong we’ll know soon enough.

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