As Donald Trump struggles to find a compromise deal that could end the shutdown of the US government, media is pointing the finger at a figure in the background.
Pundit Ann Coulter has come under fire for her inordinate power over the US president.
According to CNN, her influence can be seen in Trump’s reactions to her tweets.
On December 11 he famously declared during a meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Democratic Senate leader Chuck Schumer he would allow a government shutdown over funding for the border wall. He even said, “If we have to shut down the country over border security, I actually like that.”
Just a week later he seemed to retreat, with his press secretary saying “We don’t want to shut down the government”.
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He seemed ready to compromise, until Coulter and Rush Limbaugh showed America who’s really the boss.
She slammed him in a series of tweets and wrote an article attacking the President: “Either Trump never intended to build the wall and was scamming voters all along, or he has no idea how to get it done and zero interest in finding out.”
Trump quickly fell in line and dug in his heels – he would get billions for his border wall or the government would be shut down – which it was.
Now Trump’s latest olive branch has been savaged by Coulter again.
She wrote, “Trump proposes amnesty. We voted for Trump and got Jeb!”, as in Jeb Bush, the former GOP governor of Florida who she viewed as far too moderate on immigration issues. She quickly added, “Trade a wall for AMNESTY, and there’s no purpose to having a wall.”
TRUMP BITES BACK
Trump has accused the Democrats of rejecting his deal to reopen the government even before he announced it.
“Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak,” Mr Trump wrote on Twitter. “They don’t see crime & drugs, they only see 2020 — which they are not going to win. Best economy! They should do the right thing for the Country & allow people to go back to work.”
He also pushed back at some Republicans who dismissed his plan to provide temporary protection for “Dreamers” — young people brought to the US illegally by their parents — as amnesty, reports the New York Post.
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“No, Amnesty is not a part of my offer. It is a 3 year extension of DACA. Amnesty will be used only on a much bigger deal, whether on immigration or something else,” he said of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.
Hard-line immigration proponents, including conservative columnist Ann Coulter, mocked Mr Trump for the Dreamers deal.
“Trump proposes amnesty. We voted for Trump and got Jeb [Bush]!” Ms Coulter wrote on Twitter, referring to former Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush.
But he spent the bulk of his Twitter ire on Mrs Pelosi and company.
“Nancy Pelosi has behaved so irrationally & has gone so far to the left that she has now officially become a Radical Democrat. She is so petrified of the ‘lefties’ in her party that she has lost control,” he said in a posting. “And by the way, clean up the streets in San Francisco, they are disgusting!”
He also said he is still mulling Mrs Pelosi’s suggestion that he postpone giving his State of the Union speech later this month over security concerns because of the government shutdown.
“Nancy, I am still thinking about the State of the Union speech, there are so many options — including doing it as per your written offer (made during the Shutdown, security is no problem), and my written acceptance,” Mr Trump said. “While a contract is a contract, I’ll get back to you soon!”
In his tweetstorm, he mocked global warming, saying it might offer some relief from the winter storms bringing ice, snow and bitter-cold temperatures to much of the US.
“Be careful and try staying in your house. Large parts of the Country are suffering from tremendous amounts of snow and near record setting cold. Amazing how big this system is. Wouldn’t be bad to have a little of that good old fashioned Global Warming right now!” Mr Trump said.
He also bashed the media by claiming news outlets aren’t covering his handling of the economy.
“Always heard that as President, ‘It’s all about the economy!’ Well, we have one of the best economies in the history of our Country,” Trump wrote. “But LITTLE media mention!”
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The tweets come a day after he proposed during a speech from the White House that he would shield the 700,000 “Dreamers” and the 300,000 immigrants living in the US under the Temporary Protected Status in exchange for $US5.7 billion ($A8 billion) for his wall.
Mrs Pelosi called the deal and “non-starter.”
It comes as Vice President Mike Pence said it was “disappointing” that Mrs Pelosi rejected Mr Trump’s proposal.
In an interview with Fox News Sunday, Mr pence said that he’s still optimistic the plan will gain traction after Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell brings it to the Senate floor on Tuesday.
Mr Pence said Mr Trump “set the table for a deal that will address the crisis on our border, secure our border and give us a pathway” to reopen the government.
The impasse between Congress and Mr Trump on funding for the wall has resulted in a partial government shutdown that is now in day 30.