CNN chief national correspondent John King on Wednesday questioned whether President Trump could be convinced by prominent right-wing voices to reject a tentative budget deal to avert another government shutdown, specifically spotlighting Fox News host Sean Hannity.
Immediately following the announcement of an “agreement in principle,” including $1.375 billion for physical barriers at the U.S.-Mexico barrier, Hannity this week pilloried the deal as a “garbage compromise” and said that Republicans who support it would have to answer for their decision.
King said Wednesday on Inside Politics that while indications are that the president doesn’t want to put his party through another lengthy shutdown, there’s still the possibility he could be moved by his friends at Fox News.
“Will he be dissuaded at the last minute by his de facto chief of staff?” King asked, referencing reports that Hannity serves as Trump’s “shadow chief of staff.”
The Inside Politics host showed a clip from Hannity’s Tuesday night show in which the conservative primetime star said he was no longer “happy” with the “so-called compromise” and called the level of border-security funding “pathetic.” He did not, however, slam the president himself for possibly signing the deal. Instead, Hannity suggested that the president has subtly shown that a “national emergency will be declared” after the deal is signed.
King also brought up a recent Wall Street Journal editorial slamming the “restrictionist talk-show right” for griping over the possible deal. According to the WSJ, those “same critics” are the ones who’ve “coaxed Mr. Trump to crash into one immigration dead end after another” and who seem to believe that the president’s duty is “to fail repeatedly in the service of the politically impossible.”
“A little divide on the right,” King observed.
Incensed reaction from far-right, pro-Trump pundits like Ann Coulter over last December’s budget compromise was largely viewed as the catalyst for Trump backtracking and refusing to sign a deal, leading to the 35-day shutdown.
This time around, however, it seems the president’s most loyal media supporters are attempting to signal to Trump that he could spin this as a win by moving forward with a national-emergency declaration.