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Opinion Morning Bits: Trump’s not winning

President Trump speaks to Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) at the White House on Dec. 11. (Evan Vucci/AP)

President Trump isn’t winning many face-offs. “By New York standards, Trump is neither the world’s greatest performer nor the most masterful negotiator. And perhaps most damaging to the image he seeks to project, he’s not the biggest and best billionaire, either. Enter Michael Bloomberg, possible challenger to Trump in 2020.”

Will soon-to-be Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) get sick of winning? “Without a script or advanced notice, the two Democratic leaders turned the tables. Pelosi rose above the barbs and tried to save the meeting, insisting they shouldn’t negotiate in front of the cameras. She was all substance and pragmatism.”

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It’s what winning looks like. “Pelosi — without raising her voice, without gesticulating wildly, without interrupting — flipped the script on Trump, revealing his naivete on the subject matter and her new position of strength. In his office. Live on TV.”

Minority Leader Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) is doing a lot of winning also. “We had to puncture that cocoon, and he threw a tamper tantrum because of it. … The president’s advisers should have been telling the president the truth all the long. And too many, unfortunately, of my Republican colleagues here in the Senate and in the House seem too afraid to tell the president when he’s wrong.”

Special counsel Robert S. Mueller III has a winning hand thanks to so many sources of information. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York said it had agreed not to prosecute American Media, Inc. (AMI), the Enquirer’s parent company, for its involvement in the scheme in exchange for the company’s cooperation in the investigation into the payment to Karen McDougal, a former Playboy model. AMI ‘admitted that its principal purpose in making the payment was to suppress the woman’s story so as to prevent it from influencing the election,’ the office said.” Uh-oh.

Winning is relative, I guess. “'I think this 36 month sentence is a win for Michael Cohen,” [Dan] Abrams said. ‘The Southern District of New York is coming forward and saying not only is the sentencing range 51-63 months, but we think he’s still lying to us, he still wasn’t cooperating with us, he is making claims in documents that we think aren’t true.’”

Winning in this case means she doesn’t get to escape the mess. “Britain’s prime minister, Theresa May, survived the gravest threat yet to her embattled leadership on Wednesday, winning a confidence motion called by Conservative Party lawmakers angry at her handling of the country’s troubled departure from the European Union. … While Mrs. May survived to fight another day, her win did nothing to alter the parliamentary arithmetic that forced her this week to delay a critical vote on her plan for withdrawal from the European Union, or Brexit.”

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