By Jon Dougherty, editor-in-chief

On Friday, President Donald Trump announced a deal between the White House and Congress to reopen the portion of federal government that had been shuttered since December.

In making the announcement, the president thanked both Democrats and Republicans for reaching a deal as he praised the 800,000 federal workers who had been furloughed for their “patriotism” and dedication to the country.

Much to the angst of his supporters, the 21-day stopgap funding measure POTUS agreed to sign does not include any money for additional border walls and barriers. But that’s because Democrats were demanding that the president reopen the government for a short period as a “good faith measure” so that then negotiations on border wall funding could begin in earnest.

Now he’s done that; he’s given Democrats what they wanted, which I believe was a highly calculated and tactical decision.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has become one of the president’s staunchest champions, believes that Democratic leaders, especially House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, aren’t about to either negotiate in good faith over the next three weeks or give the president one dime of his requested border wall funding.

I think he’s spot-on, as Pelosi’s own behavior suggests.

First of all, she lied about re-inviting the president to give the State of the Union Address. After telling POTUS he couldn’t give it in the House, as per tradition, until the government was reopened, she has now reneged, giving reporters some mealy-mouthed excuse claiming ‘that’s not really what I said.’

“I am writing to inform you that the House of Representatives will not consider a concurrent resolution authorizing the President’s State of the Union address in the House Chamber until government has opened,” she said in a letter last week. But rather than introduce a measure to “consider” the matter, which is clearly what she said, the Speaker now says “I’ll look forward to doing that” — which means, ‘Go pound sand, Mr. President.’

But it’s worse than that.

No sooner than the president agreed to her demands then she took to Twitter to ‘thank’ him by perpetuating the Deep State lie that he’s beholden to Russian President Vladimir Putin following the indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller of political operative and one-time Trump campaign adviser (and friend) Roger Stone.

First of all, Stone’s indictment by Mueller is a sham — the same as all of his previous indictments. Mueller’s been running around for a year-and-a-half indicting people for things that were not crimes until he was appointed.

How do I know that? Because only Trump associates keep getting indicted by Mueller in spite very obvious evidence of “Russian collusion” between the Hillary Clinton campaign, the DNC, Christopher Steele, the FBI, and the Justice Department under Barack Obama.

What’s more, Trump associates are either getting indicted for alleged activities that had nothing to do with Russia or collusion, or they are being pinched for “process crimes” like “lying” to federal investigators or Congress despite the fact that any number of Obama officials — Clinton, James Clapper, James Comey, and Andrew McCabe, to name a few — have ‘allegedly’ committed the same crimes.

So in other words, as a show of appreciation to the president for asceding to her demands, the Speaker of the House publicly accused the president of the United States of being a stooge for a foreign leader.

Which begs the question: Just who is really helping Putin here, the president or Pelosi and Democrats who are keeping half the country riled up and all of it divided over allegations that have no basis in fact?

Is it in Putin’s best interests to see a united America or a divided America?

Would Putin have a tougher time advancing Russian interests against our own with a president who is free to act against him or one who is tied down and hamstrung politically by a party and political establishment so offended by his presence they are willing to sacrifice the national security of our country for their own ends?

There is no way to state this fact any more plainly: POTUS Trump and his campaign did not “collude” with Russia to “steal” the election from Hillary Clinton. It just didn’t happen. What’s more, Pelosi and her party know it.

What is real, however, is that Russia remains a growing threat and a strategic competitor. The Pentagon has said so. And isn’t it ironic that no Democrat disagrees with that assessment.

Yet everytime a nincompoop like Pelosi irresponsibly claims that our president is a Manchurian candidate answerable only to Moscow, it not only empowers Putin but it weakens POTUS Trump’s ability to deal with him and, thus, weakens our country.

It’s time for the president to take the gloves off. Thanking him for the stopgap budget deal by impugning his character and accusing him anew of the Russian collusion lie shows she and fellow Democrats are not interested in anything but damaging his presidency even if it means risking the United States’ security and standing in the world.

Declare an emergency, Mr. President. Build the wall. And get used to the fact that until the 2020 election, at least, you will have to deal with a House Speaker on terms she set forth: No compromise. Ever.

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