President Donald Trump is doubling down on his newfound friendship with Democrats after striking a deal with them on Wednesday to suspend the federal debt ceiling for three months and fund Hurricane Harvey relief efforts over the strong objection of his own advisers and Republican leadership.
Trump told reporters on Thursday that he — along with the American people — want to see a friendlier relationship between Democrats and Republicans.
“I think we will have a different relationship than we’ve been watching over the last number of years. I hope so,” Trump said. “I think that’s a great thing for our country. And I think that’s what the people of the United States want to see. They want to see some dialogue. They want to see coming together to an extent.”
He cited the devastation in Texas following Hurricane Harvey last month, and the anticipated destruction from Hurricane Irma, which is set to hit Florida this weekend, as a reason to work across the aisle.
“One thing we agreed on, we agreed very much on a strong military. We agreed very readily on Harvey, the hurricane,” he said. “Little did we all know sitting in that room we had just gotten the early signs of the magnitude of Irma, which is potentially more devastating than Harvey.”
The president called House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Thursday morning to confirm his willingness to work with them. Pelosi asked Trump to tweet a reassurance to young immigrants that they aren’t in danger of deportation during the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival program’s six month phase-out period. To her surprise and delight, Trump complied.
The president has reportedly been very pleased with the positive media coverage he’s received concerning the deal. Right-wing outlets have praised the president for the agreement and blasted Republican leadership for their attempted obstruction.
“The press has been incredible,” Trump reportedly told Pelosi.