The Note: Democrats’ resolve grows as Trump hits border

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The Note: Democrats’ resolve grows as Trump hits border

The TAKE with Rick Klein

So much for 45 minutes to solve the impasse.

It took far less than that for the latest negotiating session between President Donald Trump and Democratic leaders to break down, in what Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called a "temper tantrum" and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi referred to as "pathetic" and "petulant."

Trump heads to McAllen, Texas, Thursday afternoon with options that appear ever less palatable, and a party that is growing less patient with his behavior and his claims.

Democrats, meanwhile, have found what they may have lacked: an issue that unites their new majority and strengthens the position of Schumer and Pelosi.

The president's credibility problems are catching up to him, as he seeks to unite Republicans who aren't wild about being led by him right now. One of his easiest off-ramps — declaring a national emergency and building the wall without Congress' approval — would likely hasten a brewing GOP rebellion.

Trump continues to say he's channeling the broader Republican Party in insisting on a wall as the price for reopening the government. But that's a far less certain proposition than the view among Democrats that Trump's coalition isn't holding.

The RUNDOWN with MaryAlice Parks

Tom Steyer sitting out this presidential race means Democrats are less likely to have a billionaire activist on their side of the ticket. But it could still happen.

What is for sure is that Steyer's presence will be felt regardless. The man has serious reach and an impressive grassroots machine working for climate change and renewable energy initiatives and continuing calls across the country to impeach the president.

Unburdened by the prospects of running, Steyer could be a thorn in the side of some of his fellow Democrats' should he push so loudly the idea that Congress should move on impeachment.

He also could offer some back-up and political cover for Democrats on the Hill on that front too.

The TIP with John Verhovek

Iowa Rep. Steve King is not even a week into his ninth term in Congress and, already, a prominent local Republican has thrown his hat in the ring to deny the controversial congressman a 10th.

Iowa State Sen. Randy Feenstra announced that he will challenge King in the GOP primary to represent the state's 4th Congressional District, which the incumbent won by just over 3 points in 2018 to Democratic challenger J.D. Scholten.

King's penchant for offensive comments and embrace of white nationalist viewpoints led the National Republican Campaign Committee to rescind all support for him in the 2018 election, with Ohio Rep. Steve Stivers, the group's chairman, saying King's position amounted to "white supremacy and hate."

While national campaign arms almost have a blanket policy to protect incumbents, it remains to be seen whether or not the party will draw a line this cycle with King, who decried Feenstra's announcement in a statement as an "establishment" attempt to "take the 4th District out of the hands of grassroots Republicans."


ABC News' "Start Here" Podcast. Thursday morning's episode features ABC News Chief White House correspondent Jonathan Karl, who tells us about the latest tense meeting between Democrats and the president as the government shutdown drags on. ABC News' Elizabeth McLaughlin explains why veterans groups say the consequences go beyond loss of pay. And, ABC News' John Santucci says Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein is planning his exit as Trump's nominee for Attorney General looks to be confirmed.


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