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Laura Ingraham urges President Trump to stand firm on border wall funding
Gage Skidmore / CCL
Laura Ingraham doesn’t want the president to quit fighting for his border wall.
The Fox host urged President Donald Trump to stand strong through the shutdown in a tweet on Wednesday, telling him that his supporters “want him to keep fighting” for the wall.
The cable ratings tell the story—@realdonaldTrump’s supporters want him to keep fighting for American safety & security. Dems refuse to compromise—the president already has, acting in good faith.
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) January 9, 2019
Ingraham to Trump: Don’t quit
Millions of Trump’s followers tuned in to hear the president’s highly anticipated Oval Office address on the border crisis on Tuesday night. Fox was the most-watched cable network that carried the speech, drawing 8 million viewers and dwarfing MSNBC’s 4.2 million by nearly double.
In his address, Trump described the various costs of unchecked mass illegal immigration on the American economy and national security. In their response, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and House Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) accused Trump of “manufacturing” a crisis with “fear” rather than “facts.”
The top Democrats framed Trump as uncompromising and accused him of holding government workers “hostage” by rejecting “bipartisan” deals to open the government. In his address, Trump laid the blame with the Democrats for refusing to compromise on common sense border security.
The Democrats also demanded that Trump end the shutdown without getting anything for his party or border security. Schumer suggested that Trump “separate” the shutdown from the wall fight and open the government immediately — presumably on the condition of more border security talks with the Democrats after the fact, which would certainly lead to nothing.
Crisis denial and a fake crisis
Ingraham’s urgent message comes as the partial government shutdown is nearing the end of its third week. With the shutdown keeping nearly 1 million government workers furloughed or without pay, Democrats and liberal media outlets have been playing up its damage to the American people in hopes of pressuring Trump and the Republicans into giving up — and there are signs that some moderate Republicans, including Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), are not willing to take the heat.
But Ingraham, a staunch Trump supporter, has dedicated much of her commentary this week to criticizing the Democrats and the media for refusing to acknowledge the border crisis while playing up the government shutdown as its own crisis to score political points. In her monologue after Trump’s address on Tuesday night, Ingraham credited the president with launching a “major media coup” by getting the networks to carry his speech and forcing Democrats to directly respond to his demands for border security by admitting that they don’t care about the crisis.
Ingraham added that Trump has shown that he is willing to compromise, but the Democrats are not negotiating in good faith. They could end the shutdown if they want to, she said, but instead, they are dragging it out for all it’s worth to score political points and pressure Republicans to abandon the president.
Trump not budging
But despite pressure from the media — and 50 percent of the American people, who, according to one poll, blame him for the shutdown — Trump does not appear to have budged on his demand for wall funding. Some Democrats have said that Trump’s talk of “steel slats” are a sign that he’s prepared to cave, but there was every indication that he was sticking by his word on Wednesday, when he walked out of another meeting with Schumer and Pelosi after the House spearker said the wall would still not be up for negotiation if the president agreed to open the government.
Just left a meeting with Chuck and Nancy, a total waste of time. I asked what is going to happen in 30 days if I quickly open things up, are you going to approve Border Security which includes a Wall or Steel Barrier? Nancy said, NO. I said bye-bye, nothing else works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 9, 2019
Trump also met with Republicans for a luncheon huddle about border security on Wednesday and tweeted that there is “GREAT unity” within the party after the meeting. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) insisted that the party is backing the president, but moderate Republicans, including Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), reportedly challenged him on the shutdown.
Last week, Trump said at a press conference in the White House’s Rose Garden that the shutdown could go on for months and even years, and he floated the possibility of declaring a “national emergency” to build the wall without the authority of Congress if Democrats won’t cooperate. On his way to visit the border Thursday, Trump said that he would be “surprised” at this point if he does not go ahead with declaring a national emergency.
“If this [funding negotiation] doesn’t work out, probably I will do it. I would almost say definitely,” Trump said. Still, Trump seemed to take Ingraham’s advice in a Thursday tweet in which he said that he won’t give up on the wall.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2019
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