President Trump unveiled Friday a list of his favorite media personalities, when asked who could have influenced his decision to declare a national emergency after Congress refused to give him money for a border wall.
Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham – a powerful block of conservative voices that railed against any budget compromise on wall funding – were all praised at a press conference at the Rose Garden.
"Sean Hannity has been a great supporter of what I do," Trump told the Fox News commentator.
He congratulated Mr. Limbaugh for his ability to lead an audience. "He can talk for three hours without a phone call," Trump said. "Try doing that sometimes. For three hours he speaks. He has one of the greatest audiences in the history of the world. I mean, this guy is amazing. "
The president added that none of the favorites he mentioned, most of whom work for Fox News, motivated his decisions: "They do not decide on politics", did not they? he declares.
The question that prompted Trump to discuss his cable and radio crew was asked by Kelly O'Donnell, a reporter for NBC News. This seemed appropriate after what had happened in December, when the presidency seemed perhaps more involved than usual with conservative media personalities.
At the time, Mr. Trump seemed willing to sign a permanent resolution to prevent a government shutdown, even without money for the wall. Then, some of his most influential supporters, including Mr. Hannity and Mr. Limbaugh, insisted on the lack of funds and begged Mr. Trump to refuse to sign the bill. He did exactly that, leading to a 35-day shutdown, the longest in government history.
This week, as the deadline for the temporary expenditure measure ending closure was approaching, the President was ready to accept a new budget proposal, even though he had less money for construction. of a wall border than what had been expected last year. .
Unlike December, Trump spoke to a synod of conservative commentators in an effort to appease their concerns.
His administration has been talking to Mr. Hannity and Lou Dobbs, the host of Fox Business Network. The goal was Right-wing politicians said Trump deserved support for the new bill because he had forced concessions.
It would also declare a national emergency as a way around Congress and provide dollars for the wall, an initiative championed by the Conservatives.
"We will face the national security crisis on our southern border and we will do it one way or another," Trump told the Rose Garden. "It's an invasion. We have an invasion of drugs and criminals coming into our country. "
But not all members of the right-wing punditocracy supported Mr. Trump. Ann Coulter, who was one of the first supporters of the president, has become a thorn in his side.
In December, she published a A hot column on his website called Mr. Trump a "gigantic douchebag" for not having progressed on a wall of the border. This week, while many expected Mr. Trump to approve the spending bill, she did not let go, claiming on Twitter that the goal of the bill was to go ahead. National Emergency "is to allow Trump to scam the stupidest people out of his base for two years. "
The President spoke of Ms. Coulter on Friday, but not in the most glowing terms.
"I do not know her," said the president on Friday. "I have not spoken to him for nearly a year, but the press loves to say" Ann Coulter "."
He continued, "I have nothing against it. In fact, I like it for a reason. When they asked him, at the beginning, who was going to win the elections? She said, "Donald Trump". And the two people who asked him that question smiled. They said, "You're kidding, are not you?" "No, Donald Trump." So, I like him. "
Seconds later, he added, "But she's off the reserve, but whoever knows her understands that."
After the press conference, Ms. Coulter tweeted: "He seems to think that" the reserve "is HIM, not his campaign promises."
Three minutes later, she posted another one, this time about the constitutional provision allowing the removal of a president: 1 hot topic on Twitter: 25th amendment. "
Mr. Trump also identified one of his old anti-press successes at the press conference. When Jim Acosta, the CNN journalist whose White House powers he suspended from the White House, asked for "criticism that you are creating a national emergency to get your wall," the president was ready.
"Your question is a very political one, because you have an agenda," he said. "You are CNN. You are false news. "