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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump had the perfect script written for the unofficial launch of his re-election campaign in El Paso, Texas.
Back on the trail on Monday night — amid a flurry of Democrats entering the 2020 race and with the backdrop of an iconic border crossing — the president was champing at the bit to the tell the story of an extremist rival party that is hostile to border security and of the wall he would build come **** or high water.
Stage - Script
But just before he took the stage, the script flipped.
Back in Washington, Trump learned, Congress had just demolished his wall.
Group - House - Senate - Negotiators - Doubt
A bipartisan group of House and Senate negotiators — no doubt aware of when Trump was set to begin speaking — sent word Monday evening that they had struck a deal to avoid a shutdown and keep the Homeland Security Department and other federal agencies open past Friday. Democrats had quickly dropped a demand to cap the number of undocumented immigrants that federal authorities could detain at length that had been hanging up the talks, and Republicans had agreed to limit new border fencing to 55 miles.
In other words, no wall.
Outcome - Trump - Month - Government - Shutdown
It was a predictable outcome: When Trump announced last month that he was ending a self-inflicted 35-day partial government shutdown, it was clear he was flying the white flag of surrender from an imaginary watchtower on the unbuilt wall. But the final frame of the president's slow-motion capitulation couldn't have come at a worse moment for him.
He was minutes away from accusing Democrats of risking a second government shutdown over what he says are far-left immigration policies that endanger Americans' personal and financial security. He has said he believes it's a winning issue for him — and a losing one for them — despite the fact that he campaigned...
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