US Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said that after Donald Trump struck a deal with Democrats to increase the debt ceiling, the president called him to comment on the positive press coverage they both received.
“I got a call early this morning” from Trump, Schumer told The New York Times on the podcast “The New Washington” on Thursday.
“He said, ‘This was so great!’ Here’s what he said: ‘Do you watch Fox News?’ I said, ‘Not really.’ ‘They’re praising you!’, meaning me. But he said, ‘And your stations’ — I guess meaning MSNBC and CNN — ‘are praising me! This is great!'”
Last week, Trump unexpectedly sided with Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in a deal that kept the government funded through mid-December while providing a short-term, three-month suspension of the debt ceiling and ensuring about $US15 billion in relief funds to areas hit by Hurricane Harvey.
The deal was panned by several Republicans, who wanted a longer-term extension to the debt limit. However, Trump received almost universally positive coverage for his surprising moment of bipartisanship — coverage that seemed to make an impression on him, according to Schumer’s account.
Schumer also hinted at his willingness to work with Trump in the future, citing an interaction he had with Trump shortly after the election last year.
“I said to President-elect Trump, ‘Look, we’re not going to obstruct you, just for the sake of obstruction,'” Schumer said. “If you’ll work with us, as long as we can keep our values, we’ll work together.”
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