Spoiling for a shutdown

Axios/Mike Allen/08-24-17

Top White House and GOP leadership officials tell us the chances of a market-rattling government shutdown are rising by the day — and were even before Trump threatened at his raucous Phoenix rally on Tuesday night to use a shutdown as leverage to get funding for a border wall.

Trump is dead serious about this fight, a senior administration source tells Axios’ Jonathan Swan, and the president’s talk is starting to spook markets.

Goldman Sachs, in guidance to investors last Friday, pegged the odds at 50/50. This strikes us as high, but the dynamics are ominous:

A top Republican source put the chance as high as 75%: “The peculiar part is that almost everyone I talk to on the Hill agrees that it is more likely than not.”

This may all come down to Trump’s mood. As Swan puts it: “Trump is spoiling for a fight and the [conservative House] Freedom Caucus haven’t had a fight for a while. That’s a dangerous dynamic.”

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