working the phones
February 14, 2019

Now that President Trump looks set to compromise on the border wall, his next step is preventing the conservative media from flipping out about it.

The president and his aides, The New York Times reports, are in the process of doing so now, having recently called Fox Business' Lou Dobbs and Fox News' Sean Hannity to convey that "Mr. Trump deserved support because he still forced concessions that he would never have gotten without a five-week partial government shutdown." As an example, they point to an added $2 billion for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Trump also evidently argued that the shutdown was worthwhile because it "educated the country about troubles at the border."

Both Dobbs and Hannity have been critical of the shutdown deal, which provides $1.3 billion for border fencing but not the $5.7 billion for a border wall Trump had been demanding. Trump has technically not yet committed to signing it. Dobbs called the deal an "insult," while Hannity called it a "garbage compromise" and said any Republican who agrees to it will "have to explain."

Hannity later said he's "not concerned" about Trump signing the deal, per The Hill. But not everyone in the conservative media has been as understanding, with Ann Coulter saying Trump is "afraid" to fight for the wall. Coulter also retweeted a post criticizing the Times' reporting by saying that the White House is "trying to silence conservative critics who are attacking the deal." Brendan Morrow

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