Donald Trump’s supporters are increasingly turning on the embattled US President.
Following his decision to make a deal with the Democrats to end the shutdown of the US government after a historic 35 days, Mr Trump has been eviscerated by his erstwhile allies.
The standoff had centred around his demands for $US5.7 billion ($A8 billion) in funding for a southern border wall. But the stopgap deal he made to reopen the government included no money for the wall, enraging the right.
Social and political commentator Ann Coulter ripped into the US leader, calling him the “biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States”.
“He promised something for 18 months and he lied about it,” she told HBO host Bill Maher.
Fox Business host Lou Dobbs, a long-time supporter of Mr Trump, blasted the announcement.
“While the President pleased few of his supporters, if any, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer and the radical Dems (were) taking victory laps within minutes of the President’s 18-minute announcement,” she said.
Peter Wehner, a former aide to presidents Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, said Mr Trump had “been exposed as pitifully weak, all bluster, a pathetic negotiator”.
“Pelosi rolled him in every way,” he said.
Fox News host Sean Hannity defended Mr Trump saying the President still held “all the cards” regarding negotiations with Congress for the wall.
“Anyone out there, by the way, thinking President Trump caved … you don’t really know the Donald Trump I know,” the Fox News host said.
I wish people would read or listen to my words on the Border Wall. This was in no way a concession. It was taking care of millions of people who were getting badly hurt by the Shutdown with the understanding that in 21 days, if no deal is done, it’s off to the races!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2019
But a comment from Republican Senator Lindsey Graham could come back to haunt the President.
Earlier this month he predicted if Mr Trump was to give in to Democrat demands to end the shutdown without funding for the border wall it would “probably (be) the end of his presidency”.
And the political damage could prove lasting, with The New York Times reporting Mr Trump’s supporters are increasingly worried he could face a draining primary challenge next year.
According to the Times, the anti-Trump wing of the Republican party is urging several contenders to take on the President.
Mr Trump is prepared to shut down the government again or declare a national emergency if Congress won’t work with him to secure the US-Mexico border, the White House said on Sunday.
The President’s standoff with Democrats on Capitol Hill is far from over and the clock is ticking — the spending bill Mr Trump signed on Friday funds the government agencies that had been shut down only until February 15.
White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told CBS program Face The Nation that Mr Trump’s goal was to work with Congress.
“What he wants to do is fix this the way that things are supposed to get fixed with our government which is through legislation,” Mr Mulvaney said. He added that the President didn’t want another shutdown, but he would do it if necessary.
“Keep in mind he’s willing to do whatever it takes to secure the border,” he said.
Only fools, or people with a political agenda, don’t want a Wall or Steel Barrier to protect our Country from Crime, Drugs and Human Trafficking. It will happen – it always does!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 26, 2019
The record 35-day federal shutdown ended when Mr Trump gave in to mounting pressure, retreating from his demand that Congress commit billions for a US-Mexico border wall before federal agencies could resume work.
The bill he signed did not provide the money Mr Trump wanted for the wall, which Ms Pelosi has called “immoral” and has insisted Congress will not finance. New York’s Hakeem Jeffries, a member of the Democratic leadership in the House, said that a wall would be ineffective and a waste of taxpayers’ dollars.
“That’s a 5th century solution to a 21st century problem,” Mr Jeffries told NBC’s Meet The Press. “What we want to support over the next few weeks is 21st century border security.”
Mr Jeffries said Democrats are willing to invest in additional infrastructure, especially at legal ports of entry where the majority of drugs come into the country.
“We’re willing to invest in personnel. We’re willing to invest in additional technology.
“In the past, we have supported enhanced fencing and I think that’s something that’s reasonable that should be on the table,” he said.
Republican Senator Roy Blunt said he thinks a compromise is possible.
“I think the American people are tired of watching the government where people get locked down for no reason except maybe political reasons,” Mr Blunt said, adding that Mr Trump has changed his demands on border security as he’s learned more about the problem.
“The President went from talking about a wall along the entire southern border at one point during the campaign … to let’s have barriers where they work and let’s have something else where barriers wouldn’t work as well,” Mr Blunt said.
Mr Mulvaney told Fox News Sunday that the President agreed to temporarily end the shutdown because some Democrats have stepped forward, publicly and privately, to say they agree with his plan to better secure the border. Mr Mulvaney said they told Trump they couldn’t split with Ms Pelosi and Mr Schumer, and work with the White House if the government remained closed.
“Everybody wants to look at this and say the President lost,” Mr Mulvaney said. “We’re still in the middle of negotiations.”
Mr Mulvaney said the President is not seeking a “2000-mile sea to shining sea” wall. The White House has identified 17 priorities for building barriers to discourage illegal crossings. “It’s about 243 miles (391km),” he said. “It’s the wall, where we need it the most and where we need it the quickest.
“At the end of the day, the President is going to secure the border one way or another.”