In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Democrats will only work with Trump if he abandons his Republican colleagues.
“The only way we’re going to work with him is if he moves completely in our direction and abandons his Republican colleagues,” he said. “Ninety, 95 percent of the time, we’ll be holding his feet to the fire and holding him accountable.”
“But we’re Democrats, we’re not going to just oppose things to oppose them,” Schumer added.
Transcript, via CNN:
CHUCK SCHUMER: I said, Mr. President-elect, you went after both the Democratic and Republican establishments when you ran. You were an anti-establishment change candidate. But by your cabinet picks and your early pronouncements, you seem to be embracing your timeworn, shop-worn hard right.
BASH (on camera): You said that to him?
SCHUMER: I did.
BASH: What did he say?
But I said to him, if you do that, your presidency will not come close to being a success.
BASH (voice-over): For Schumer, success will be even more complicated, a fine line between when to work with Trump and when not to.
SCHUMER: The only way we’re going to work with him is if he moves completely in our direction and abandons his Republican colleagues. Ninety, 95 percent of the time, we’ll be holding his feet to the fire and holding him accountable. But we’re Democrats. We’re not going to just oppose things to oppose them.
BASH: I’ve known you for a long time. You love a deal, not unlike the president-elect. I find that hard to believe, that you don’t want to make deals with him.
SCHUMER: Well, here’s the problem. The Republicans in the Senate and the House have been run by a hard right group, an almost Tea Party group. And they are so far away from where we are…
BASH: But now they’ve got a deal maker in the White House, just like you.
SCHUMER: Well, look, we’re going to look at the specifics of what is proposed. Of course I’d like to make a deal.