Retiring GOP lawmaker: Trump 'fell in line' behind Hannity on border wall

Retiring Rep. Ryan CostelloRyan Anthony CostellloBottom line Former GOP Rep. Costello launches lobbying shop Head of Pennsylvania GOP resigns over alleged explicit texts MORE (R-Pa.) said Thursday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump marks 'very sad milestone' of 100K coronavirus deaths DOJ: George Floyd death investigation a 'top priority' Lifting our voices — and votes MORE “fell in line” on his border wall demands after listening to Sean Hannity and other conservative commentators blast a lack of funding for his proposed border wall.

Costello, who will be exiting Congress next month after opting not to run for reelection after redistricting in his state, called the partial government shutdown “foreseeable” during an appearance on MSNBC, noting a stalemate between Republicans and Democrats over the border wall funding. 

ADVERTISEMENT

“The Senate voted 100-0 to pass a clean CR [continuing resolution] and sent it to the House,” Costello said, referring to the Senate passing a stopgap measure by voice vote last week that did not include border wall funding.

“Sean Hannity and a few other people screamed fire. The president then fell in line behind Sean Hannity," Costello added.

The Pennsylvania Republican, who has been increasingly outspoken about Trump, noted that he joined other House Republicans in voting for a bill that added $5 billion in border wall funding demanded by Trump.

Senate Republicans expressed disbelief last week after Trump changed course and returned to demanding the border wall money at the urging of House Republicans. The White House had previously signaled that Trump would signed the Senate-passed measure. 

“We in the House voted, and I voted for it, for an additional $5 billion and about $8 billion in disaster relief on top of the clean CR. Democrats were not willing to go along because they didn’t want any more wall funding in there,” Costello said Thursday.

Large swaths of the federal government – about 25 percent – shut down starting on Saturday after lawmakers failed to reach a funding deal amid differences over Trump's border wall demand. Costello predicted the government would remain closed until the new Congress is sworn in Jan. 3.

Costello said Trump hurt himself when he tried personally negotiating with House Democratic Leader Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse cancels planned Thursday vote on FISA The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - US virus deaths exceed 100,000; Pelosi pulls FISA bill Pelosi pulls vote on FISA bill after Trump veto threat MORE (Calif.) and Senate Democratic Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerLawmakers introduce bill to invest 0 billion in science, tech research The Democrats' out-party advantage in 2020 Democratic leaders say Trump testing strategy is 'to deny the truth' about lack of supplies MORE (N.Y.) in front of cameras in the Oval Office earlier this month. During the meeting, Trump vowed to hold the "mantle" of a shutdown.

“Listen, rule number one in negotiation is don’t negotiate against yourself,” Costello said. “The president had Nancy and Chuck in the Oval Office and he negotiated against himself, and now he’s in a corner, and I’m not sure how he backs himself out of that corner.”

Costello said in May he would not seek reelection, citing the “very angry” political environment as one of the many reasons for his decision.