A Lesson in Humility

In less than 24 hours, President Donald Trump has moved from praising a bipartisan agreement on government funding to issuing a shutdown threat—all over media coverage favorable to Democrats.

“I think the president is frustrated with the fact that he negotiated in good faith with the Democrats and they went out to try and spike the football and make him look bad,” Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said May 2.


At issue is an 11-bill omnibus package to fund the federal government through the remainder of fiscal year 2017, which ends Sept. 30.

A bipartisan agreement was reached on the spending package on May 1, and White House press secretary Sean Spicer said the president was “pleased” with the measure.

“I think it’s great that the Democrats like the bill. That’s fantastic,” Mulvaney said the evening of May 1. “We thought it was a really good deal for this administration as well.”

Mulvaney pointed to the many victories for Republicans in the bill, including significant increases in funding for defense, border security and school choice programs.

Overnight, however, Democrats received more favorable media coverage for the agreement than the president.

And, a little after 8 a.m., Trump sent two tweets complaining about the situation:

Later, at a Rose Garden ceremony to present the commander-in-chief trophy, Trump pointed out his accomplishments to members of the Air Force Academy.

“This week, our Republican team had its own victory under the radar,” Trump told the gathering. The administration had ended years of painful cuts to the military and achieved a $21 billion increase in defense spending, he said.

“And we didn't do any touting like the Democrats did, by the way,” Trump told the football team.

Mulvaney said the president wants to “fix” Washington. “Which is why it's so frustrating to have the Democrats go out to say they won and we lost,” he said.

Perhaps former President Harry S. Truman said it best: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”