Politics

Trump Drives A Wall Between Himself And The Hard Right

Kaitlan Collins White House Correspondent

Donald Trump’s promised border wall is dividing the president from his devoted base.

Congressional leaders reached an agreement this week on a spending deal that would fund the government through the end of September and avoid a looming shutdown. Though it includes $1.5 billion for border security, it restricts any of it from going toward the construction of the new wall. The White House pushed the bill as a win for Republicans, while Democrats have gloated over the concessions.

It’s creating a division between Trump and the hard right, who feel he hasn’t done enough to push for the project.

(Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

In a column on her website Wednesday, conservative firebrand Ann Coulter said Trump was defeated by the “swamp people” 47-0. She tweeted a link to her column with two scathing headlines — “TRUMP LOSES FIRST BATTLE OF THE WALL” and “BETRAYED BY THE GOP: TRUMP’S FIRST SURRENDER.”

“If this is the budget deal we get when Republicans control the House, the Senate and the presidency, there’s no point in ever voting for a Republican again,” Coulter wrote. “Apparently, Trump’s fine with no wall — and everything else in a bill straight out of George Soros’ dream journal — if only the Democrats hadn’t been so rude as to tell the public about it. When your main complaint is that the other side is gloating too much, maybe you’re not that great a negotiator.”

“Planning for the wall should have begun on Nov. 9, and a spade should have been put into the earth to begin building it the day after Trump’s inauguration. Now, it’s 100 days later, and we still don’t have the whisper of a prospect of a wall.” (RELATED: Congress Reaches Budget Deal To Keep The Government Open Until September)

With the spending bill, Coulter said Trump “massively lengthened the odds of ever prevailing” on his campaign promise to build the wall.

“We’re not winning,” she wrote. “We’re losing, and we’re losing on the central promise of Trump’s campaign.”

Mark Krikorian, the executive director at the Center for Immigration Studies, said the budget deal “was a surrender on the part of the president.”

“There is the sense that in a lot of ways on immigration, the White House is now betraying people who supported him,” Krikorian said. “There’s a good reason that Schumer and Pelosi are crowing about how they won on this, because they did.”

The wall has even distanced the Trump administration from Breitbart News, an outlet that was once run by White House chief strategist Steve Bannon. The website ran the headline “White House Staff Claims See-Through Fence, Levee Flood Protection System Is a ‘Border Wall.'”

“President Donald Trump’s White House communications team is claiming inaccurately that there is border wall funding in the spending bill before Congress right now,” Matthew Boyle wrote. “The move comes as the administration is facing political heat for the failure to obtain federal appropriations in the new omnibus spending bill to pay for the construction of a border wall, as President Trump promised on the campaign trail.”

Breitbart reporter Charlie Spiering and Sean Spicer went back and forth with at the press briefing Wednesday after the press secretary showed photos of what the fencing on the border currently looks like and what it will look like with repairs.

“Is that a photo of a fence or a wall?” Spiering asked.

“That is called a bollard wall, and that is called a levee wall,” Spicer said.

“So that’s the wall Trump promised?” Spiering said.

“There are various walls that can be built under the legislation that is just passed,” Spicer responded.

“So basically you’re just telling the president’s supporters to be satisfied with this existing tough-guy fencing until he’s able to build a wall?” Spiering asked.

“No, what I’m telling anybody is that the president said he’d build a wall, and he’s going to do it with the best technology, and what the DHS under Secretary John Kelly says is the most effective way to keep people out to stop drugs and cartels to stop human trafficking and prevent illegal immigration,” Spicer said.