Days after President Donald Trump signed a bill to end his own partial shutdown of the federal government with no money for his wall, the consensus across most media and the nation is that he caved and lost. But on Monday, Fox & Friends attempted to spin Trump’s decision to sign a three-week continuing resolution as some sort of victory.
In December, congressional Democrats, congressional Republicans, and the Trump administration reached a deal to avert a potential shutdown. But conservative pundits Ann Coulter and Fox & Friends co-host Steve Doocy howled that the deal did not include the $5 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars Trump had demanded to pay for a border wall, which he’d previously promised would be fully funded by Mexico. The president reportedly decided to listen to Coulter and Fox News and backed out of the deal to which he’d previously agreed. The longest shutdown in history followed, leaving 800,000 federal workers furloughed or forced to work without pay and paralyzing air travel and food safety inspection.
On Friday, a furious Coulter slammed Trump’s decision to accept virtually the same deal he had been offered a month earlier, calling him “the biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States.”
Good news for George Herbert Walker Bush: As of today, he is no longer the biggest wimp ever to serve as President of the United States.
— Ann Coulter (@AnnCoulter) January 25, 2019
On Monday, Fox News told Trump — a reliable viewer — that now he should simply ignore Coulter. Co-host Brian Kilmeade interviewed Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, who claimed that Trump did not really cave because a lot of “deplorable Evangelicals” had been telling him so on Twitter and in emails.
Brody then slammed Coulter — who, along with Fox News, helped push Trump into the shutdown to begin with — for objecting to his caving. “Bless her heart, as they say in the South, but look, she is an outlier here, and quite frankly not representative of the base at all. An outlier for sure. And some of those comments, off her rocker, no doubt about it.”
Kilmeade then cherry-picked one of the few polls that did not show Trump’s approval taking a significant hit and bragged that Trump’s paltry 43 percent approval rating was undisturbed, according to that NBC/Wall Street Journal survey.
He concluded by saying Trump “has got to almost ignore people, whether it’s me and you one day — Ann Coulter today — and just do what he knows is best.”
Had Trump ignored Fox & Friends and Coulter to begin with, he could have avoided a five-week shutdown that cost the economy roughly 0.13 percent of its potential economic growth weekly, according to his own White House Council of Economic Advisers.