Donald Trump was tired of all the bad deals, specifically the swollen spending bills perennially hosing the taxpayer. While other Republicans always promised to reduce spending, Trump vowed to deliver by really hacking and slashing at the deficit.
That changed with one phone call from John Boehner apparently.
According to Axios, White House chief of staff Reince Priebus recruited the former House speaker to whisper in the president's ear. And it worked.
When Boehner called, Trump was reportedly mulling a veto of a $1 trillion stop-gap spending bill. Even though Republicans controlled the White House and Congress, the president was frustrated at his inability to get a down payment on his border wall. Never shy of conflict, Trump was reportedly ready to force a government shutdown.
But Boehner convinced Trump to stand down, coaxing him into settling for a boost in military spending and persuading him that a shutdown wasn't in order. And while those arguments might be sound, their author is interesting for two telling reasons.
Cantankerous conservatives, notably Trump's own OMB director Mick Mulvaney, yanked the gavel from Boehner largely because of his inability to reduce spending in 2015. But that hasn't slowed him down. Cast out of the speaker's office, he wields almost as much influence from his smoke filled office at the lobbying firm of Squire Patton Boggs
Thanks in part to Boehner, Trump dutifully signed the deal to extend government funding. And if such a notable swamp creature can easily tame Trump, it's not clear how much longer the president can hold onto his fiscal populism.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.