President Donald Trump won’t compromise on his insistence for a border wall because he doesn’t want to be called a “fraud and a weenie” by conservative scold Ann Coulter, MSNBC news host Stephanie Ruhle disdainfully declared Thursday.
She was responding to conservative commentator Charlie Sykes’ belief that Trump really doesn’t want a “deal … or the wall. I think he wants the fight.”
As Trump eyes his re-election bid, “I think he wants the slogan … to take it into 2020,” Sykes added.
Even if Trump starts to back down in the standoff that has led to a partial government shutdown, top White House aide Stephen Miller ― known for his hardline stance on immigration issues ― would simply “pick up the phone and call Ann Coulter and [right-wing radio host] Rush Limbaugh and the base will get riled up, and the president is completely prepared to renege,” Sykes said.
That prompted Ruhle to say that “Coulter calling the president a fraud and a weenie is what’s stopping” a White House deal with congressional Democrats to re-open the government.
A similar scenario reportedly occurred in December. Trump apparently had agreed to sign a bipartisan spending bill that would have prevented a shutdown, then flip-flopped in the wake of an onslaught of criticism from Coulter, Limbaugh and various Fox News hosts.
Coulter, in a Dec. 19 Twitter post, referred to Trump ― in all caps ― as the “GUTLESS PRESIDENT IN WALL-LESS COUNTRY.”
The shutdown began a few days later.
Sykes, who rose to prominence as the longtime host of a Milwaukee-based radio show, is among the corps of conservative critics of Trump who have never made peace with him. In his MSNBC appearance, he commented on the difficulty of dealing with Trump.
Referring to the famed character in the “Peanuts” comic strip, he said, “How many times do you have to have Lucy take the football away before you realize that you’re not going to be able to make a deal with somebody like Donald Trump, who is an unreliable negotiator?”
He said that if any real progress was being made in negotiations to end the shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) would be there because he “knows how to get this sort of thing done.”
Check out the barbs in the video above.