- Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
- President Donald Trump announced Friday that he would temporarily reopen the government without first securing funds for his long-promised border wall.
- The news spun right-wing pundits and immigration hardliners into a frenzy to react, with some instantly condemning Trump for caving and others placing the blame on Democrats.
- The government shutdown lasted 35 days and was the longest in US history. Congress can now pass a short-term funding bill to leave the government open until February 15.
President Donald Trump has been promising he would build a wall on the US-Mexico border since his 2016 campaign.
So his announcement on Friday that he would temporarily reopen the government without first securing funds for his wall prompted a wave of reactions among the right-wing pundits and immigration hardliners who have supported his agenda the most – and helped get him elected.
Trump said from the White House Rose Garden that he would back a bill to reopen the federal government after the longest shutdown in US history stretched 35 days. Congressional leaders can now pass a short-term funding bill that will leave the government open until February 15.
Some conservative commentators immediately turned their ire on Trump, blaming him for a humiliating defeat after a record government shutdown that left hundreds of thousands of furloughed workers unpaid and prompted public resentment toward Trump, even among his base.
“Good news for George Herbert Walker Bush: As of today, he is no longer the biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States,” the far-right provocateur Ann Coulter tweeted.
Good news for George Herbert Walker Bush: As of today, he is no longer the biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 25, 2019
Despite vehemently supporting Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign, Coulter has long railed against Trump’s failure to build the wall since he took office two years ago. On Friday afternoon, she appeared to accuse Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, of tanking the deal through his reported efforts to compromise with Democrats.
“Maybe the solution to the border crisis is not deporting 22 million illegals but one Jared Kushner,” she wrote.
‘Democrats have run out of excuses’
But even the news outlets that have long backed Trump’s border-security agenda appeared angry at the pivot, blaming Trump for handing a win to the newly emboldened Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
“Government open … and border,” a headline on Breitbart read. The accompanying article accused Trump of blinking in the face of Congressional Democrats.
“The White House finally caved to Democrats demands [sic], despite Trump’s assertions this week that he would not do so,” the Breitbart article read.
The Gateway Pundit, another far-right news outlet that frequently supports Trump, said in a headline that the move was Pelosi’s “SECOND BIG WIN This Week.”
Other immigration hardliners blamed Democrats
Yet some pundits and hardline immigration groups took a more nuanced approach, opting to blame Democrats instead for the failure to secure $5.7 billion in border-wall funding.
- Getty Images/David McNew
“The government has now been reopened and the Democrats have run out of excuses not to negotiate in good faith,” the Federation for American Immigration Reform said in a statement. “We now have three weeks to find out whether reopening the government was a talking point or a true commitment on the part of congressional Democrats to address a national crisis.”
Other conservative pundits appeared to agree that Trump’s move left the onus on Democrats to make a deal.
“Political chess game continues,” former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly tweeted. “President Trump reopens government – a good thing. Gives Dems three weeks to make a border security deal. Reasonable. Advantage Trump today.”
- Read more:
- Even before Trump made the deal to reopen the government, immigration hardliners were slamming his proposals as ‘increasingly weak’
- Border Patrol video shows more than 110 migrants scaling the 18-foot US-Mexico border fence with a ladder
- Trump is reportedly preparing a draft of a national-emergency declaration that would use $7 billion to fund his border wall
- Congress finally met its breaking point on the government shutdown after airport delays took a punishing toll
- FBI Director Christopher Wray slams government shutdown, says he’s as angry as he’s been ‘in a long, long time’