Following a meeting with members of the Apollo 11 crew and their families, President Donald Trump told reporters he did not believe the debt ceiling should be used as a negotiation tool between lawmakers and the President.
“I can’t imagine anybody ever even thinking of using the debt ceiling as a negotiating wedge,” Trump said before claiming that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer previously told him the debt ceiling was “a sacred element of our country” and would not be used to negotiate.
This all comes on the cusp of the administration’s work with Democrats to reach a deal on the debt ceiling before the August recess.
Facts First: Trump has previously advocated — many times — for Republicans to use the debt ceiling as a negotiation tool.
Several times during his tenure in the Oval Office, President Barack Obama sparred with Republican lawmakers over raising the debt ceiling. During these back-and-forths Trump often advocated for Republicans to “use the debt ceiling as leverage to make a great deal!” as he did on Twitter in 2012; just one of several tweets arguing for Republicans to use the debt ceiling as a negotiation tactic.
During a news conference at the Conservative Political Action Committee in 2013, Trump reiterated his position.
“Trump also encouraged Republicans to ‘play the debt ceiling card’ to force the president to compromise,” the conservative outlet Breitbart News reported at the time. “The Republicans have so much power, and they don’t seem to realize it. And every day that goes by, it dissipates,” Trump said.
Trump’s belief that the debt ceiling should not be used as a tool in negotiations is a clear flip-flop from his statements made during Obama’s presidency, when he often advocated for that very thing many different times.