For a president who campaigned on the wings of “build the wall” chants, Donald Trump seems uncertain about how to deliver on one of his signature promises. The on-again, off-again, on-again deal to protect “dreamers” without securing funding for the long-promised wall that emerged from Wednesday night’s dinner with Democratic leaders caused a revolt among many of his supporters.
CJR’s Jon Allsop writes that Trump’s apparent chumminess with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi “has left many of his media cheerleaders disgusted.” From Breitbart’s “Amnesty Don” splash to Ann Coulter’s about-face, Trump’s willingness to work with Democrats on immigration reform seems to be the final straw for some supporters. For others, like Sean Hannity, it’s always someone else’s fault.
Trump’s political rise has already caused a realignment of the conservative media world, and a retreat from his campaign promises concerning immigration threatens to do the same to its nascent pro-Trump contingent. Allsop’s piece quotes Commentary magazine’s Noah Rothman, whose analysis of the divide I found insightful. Rothman says that outlets like Breitbart “have a genuine valid policy prescription when it comes to immigration reform. Trump is a vehicle to achieve that, and to the extent he doesn’t achieve that he’s outlived his usefulness.” For those who twist themselves into knots defending Trump’s four-dimensional chess, the president is “a talisman, a victory in the culture wars, an investment.”
Below, more on immigration policy, Trump’s equivocation, and the media reaction.
- “We tried to warn you”: Speaking for the Never-Trump contingent, Commentary’s Rothman says that “when it came to then-candidate Trump’s over-the-top rhetoric in support of immigration restrictionism and border security, we said the Manhattanite who only recently converted to the GOP was simply playing a role.”
- Testing their faith: The Washington Post’s Robert Costa and Michael Scherer examine how the “issue of immigration is straining Trump’s ties to hard-line conservatives.”
- The current landscape: Trump was uncharacteristically available to reporters throughout Thursday. He tweeted and spoke several times about the potential for DACA legislation and his plans for the southern border. The New York Times’s Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Yamiche Alcindor have an overview of where things stand 24 hours after the president’s dinner with Schumer and Pelosi.
- Infuriated supporters: CNN’s Oliver Darcy has a roundup of the reaction from pro-Trump media figures.
Other notable stories
- Over the past week, top editors at Vanity Fair, Elle, Time, and Glamour announced their respective departures. CNN’s Brian Stelter looks at “the end of an era for the magazine industry.”
- A ProPublica report found that Facebook allowed advertisers to target groups expressing interest in topics like “Jew hater.”
- Mikaela Lefrak’s Atlantic piece on “The David Carr Generation” is a wonderful read.
- For CJR, Cincinnati Enquirer heroin reporter Terry DeMio gives the backstory to her paper’s incredible “Seven Days of Heroin” feature.
- Following up on yesterday’s newsletter, ThinkProgress’s Lindsay Gibbs reports that ESPN tried to pull Jemele Hill off of her show on Wednesday. An ESPN spokesman strongly refuted parts of that claim.