US President Donald Trump said talks with Democrats on a new stimulus bill are going well


MANDEL NGAN

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President Donald Trump said Thursday he now sees “really good” odds of reaching a deal with Democrats in Congress on a new round of coronavirus stimulus to boost the battered US economy, a sharp reversal from his stance earlier this week.

“We’re starting to have some very productive talks,” he said, referring specifically to proposals for assistance for airlines and $1,200 checks for workers.

“We’re talking about a bigger deal than airlines,” he told Fox Business News. “I think we have a really good chance of doing something.”

His comments marked a definitive about-face after abruptly ending the negotiations with Congressional Democrats on Tuesday and saying the stimulus package would have to wait until after the November 3 election.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had been negotiating for weeks, raising hopes for a huge, new relief package, but Trump accused Pelosi of not negotiating in good faith.

Following an outcry from both parties and business leaders as well as a drop in the stock market, Trump changed gears and called for Congress to “immediately” pass stand-alone legislation to extend aid to airline workers and small businesses.

Pelosi’s team seized on the president’s statement, pointing out that just last week Republicans blocked a stand-alone bill to prevent massive layoffs by airlines.

In the interview, Trump struck a more conciliatory tone, saying “it’s not anybody’s fault” the talks were not successful.

“It wasn’t going anywhere, I shut it down. I don’t want to play games. Then we reopened, and I see markets are doing well,” Trump said, highlighting one of his favored measures of success.

Wall Street closed with solid gains Wednesday, and were up