Jeff Stein: Trump’s last-minute push for larger stimulus checks example of ‘long-running tension’ with other Republicans


Washington Post economics reporter Jeff Stein on Friday highlighted his reporting that White House aides intervened Thursday to prevent President Trump from publicly calling for larger coronavirus stimulus checks amid negotiations on Capitol Hill, an incident Stein called part of a “long-running tension” between the president and establishment Republicans. 

In an interview on Hill.TV’s “Rising,” Stein said Trump had told allies that he wanted new stimulus checks as large as $2,000 per person, even as congressional leadership is preparing a package that would provide checks of just $600 each. 

“I think as Trump leaves, one of the only recent presidents to be defeated after one term, one of the major questions is, did the economic populism that he at least superficially campaigned on in 2016 … did he abandon that office?” the Post reporter said. “I think the question of his inability to get another round of stimulus checks is sort of bringing that question to the fore.” 

“We’ve seen this over and over again where he has these impulses that are not like the normal, traditional business Republicans, and often he’s surrounded himself, including by the aides that are in the story, by people who are skeptical of that mission,” Stein continued. 

“There’s sort of this long-running tension between Trump’s sort of quasi-economic populist instinct at least and the governance reality and his coalition partners within the Republican party, and this is such a vivid, dramatic and kind of honestly fun example of that.”

Watch part of Stein’s interview above.

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