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September 7, 2017

President Trump's surprise acceptance Wednesday of an offer from the top congressional Democrats, Sen. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Rep. Nancy Pelosi (Calif.), to tie $7.8 billion in aid for Hurricane Harvey victims to a three-month increase in the debt ceiling and similar-length government-funding package may have averted some messy fights in September, but it has also roiled Washington. Jonathan Swan at Axios dubbed it the day "Trump played Democratic Party president," while Republicans "seethed privately" about having to vote on the debt ceiling so soon and giving Democrats so much leverage, Politico reports.

"A three-month debt ceiling? Why not do a daily debt ceiling?" Rep. Mike Simpson (R-Idaho) told Politico, mocking Trump. "He's the best deal-maker ever. Don't you know? I mean, he's got a book out!" Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he didn't like the deal but would support it, saying of his relationship with Trump: "It's fine. ... Everything's fine." A GOP source on Capitol Hill told Politico that the White House apologized to GOP leaders for Trump going rogue, and a House Republican allied with House Speaker Paul Ryan complained, "Trump has got to start caring more about his colleagues over here."

Lou Dobbs, a solid Trump supporter at Fox Business, disagreed. On Wednesday's Lou Dobbs Tonight, he celebrated the metaphorical "death of a RINO," Ryan, criticizing the House speaker's "obsequious deference to corporate lobbyists and unbridled hostility toward President Trump." Trump "not only took RINO Ryan to the woodshed," Dobbs said, he eliminated the need for any Republican to ever pretend Ryan is "a real Republican in any way" or that "any RINO has a political future after Mr. Trump simply booted the hapless fool of a speaker out of the way of those trying to get the nation's business done." He went on to congratulate Schumer and Pelosi for having "calmed themselves" and toned down their rhetoric about Trump, allowing them to work with the president to "expose" Ryan as a do-nothing flop.

If that's the general takeaway from the Trump-friendly media — Sean Hannity spent Wednesday night talking about Hillary Clinton and DACA — these strange times we live in just got a little weirder. Peter Weber