One of Donald Trump’s fiercest defenders in the conservative media has lambasted the president and called for his impeachment for seeking to preserve a program protecting young immigrants.
Firebrand commentator and author Ann Coulter has been one of the staunchest defenders of Mr Trump and his “America First” platform, sharing the Republican president’s focus on limiting illegal immigration.
But in the hours since it emerged that Mr Trump and top Democrats discussed preserving a program to shield young unauthorized immigrants from deportation, Ms Coulter has gone on a Twitter rampage in which she upbraided Mr Trump for reneging on campaign promises, saying he was easily manipulated, and wrote “who DOESN’T want him impeached”?
The notion that Mr Trump was bending to a Democratic priority and abandoning one of his own provoked fury among supporters who, like Ms Coulter, argued he was selling out the principles that got him elected. Tweets tagged with the phrase #AmnestyDon proliferated, with backers of Mr Trump's agenda expressing anger and disillusionment.
This is not the first time that Ms Coulter, who tends to channel the president’s base, has chastised the president for veering from a platform of curtailing immigration and pulling back on America’s role in world affairs. She slammed Mr Trump earlier this year for launching a missile strike on Sryia, echoing other conservatives sceptical of military adventurism.
But immigration resonates more with Mr Trump’s base than perhaps any other issue, and Ms Coulter’s anger suggested a wider backlash to come.
The White House has downplayed the notion, touted by triumphant Democrats after last night's meeting, that the president had embraced a deal to keep the immigration program - which he last week declined to extend - without offering in exchange to build the border wall with Mexico that Mr Trump made a campaign centerpiece.
Press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders wrote on Twitter that “excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to” and Mr Trump said that “no deal was made” on the immigration program, adding in a followup tweet that “The WALL…will continue to be built”. But he told reporters that while a deal would include “massive border security” he left open the possibility of not including border barrier - which Congress has not yet funded - saying “the wall will come later”.
Later on Mr Trump continued to project confidence about striking a deal but told reporters that “if we don't have the wall, we're doing nothing”.
Register for free to continue reading
Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism
By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists
Already have an account? sign in
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies