Trump labelled ‘wimp’ and ‘broken man’ by right-wing supporters over Mexico border wall capitulation

President continues to insist he did not 'cave' as grassroots backers say he 'brought his troops on the battlefield and then walked away'

Adam Lusher
Sunday 27 January 2019 15:30 GMT
Trump: 'We do not need 2,000 miles of concrete wall, from sea to shining sea. We never wanted that'

Despite a conservative backlash that has seen him called a “wimp” and a “broken man”, Donald Trump is continuing to insist he did not “cave” to the Democrats by ending the government shutdown without funding for his border wall.

After ending the shutdown, Mr Trump tweeted that “this was in no way a concession”, signalling that if he didn’t get a deal from Congress by February 15, he could shut the government down again or declare a national emergency to re-route federal money to fund the wall.

Mr Trump now appears to have doubled down on this argument with a series of tweets re-affirming his belief that a wall is needed, and he will get it. On Saturday evening he insisted: “Only fools, or people with a political agenda, don’t want a Wall or Steel Barrier to protect our Country from Crime, Drugs and Human Trafficking. It will happen – it always does!”

The damage to some of his base support, however, appears to have already been done. On Sunday morning, the top two trending topics on Breitbart, once run by Trump’s former strategist Steve Bannon, were “[Democratic Speaker Nancy] Pelosi Trumps Trump” and “Govt open – Border too”.

The website carried extensive coverage of how Trump’s political opponents had mocked him for being “dog walked” by Pelosi and demonstrating “the Art of the Cave”.

It comes after commentator Mike Cernovich, who has a large pro-Trump following, said that the president was now “a broken man”.

The influential conservative commentator Ann Coulter reacted to Mr Trump ending the shutdown by insultingly invoking the memory of recently deceased former US president George HW Bush and writing: “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.”

Ms Coulter has previously said that Mr Trump would be “dead in the water” if he did not get his wall, saying if he couldn’t build it, “Trump will just have been a joke presidency who scammed the American people, amused the populists for a while, but he’ll have no legacy whatsoever”.

In another indication that the president’s base support might be wavering, conservative leader Mark Meckler, who helped found the Tea Party movement, accused Mr Trump of having “brought his troops on the battlefield and then walked away”.

Mr Meckler called the president’s decision to sign off on a deal without wall funding “pathetic and disgusting.”

He said that during the shutdown he and other conservative leaders had been aggressively defending the president’s hardline approach. At the request of the White House, he said they made repeated media appearances, but they got no warning he was about to “surrender.”

“No way would I go on the radio anytime again in the future and say ‘The president’ and ‘I believe,”’ Meckler said. “Certainly, he did not fulfill his promise to the base and I’m appalled. More importantly than me is what I’m hearing from the grassroots. They’re appalled.”

“He brought his troops on the battlefield with an absolute promise. And then he walked away.”

Not all the president’s supporters were critical of him, however.

Charlie Kirk, the founder of the right wing organisation Turning Point USA urged his twitter followers: “Don’t waver in your support of Donald Trump.

“He is fighting , ALONE , daily to protect our country and to fulfill the promises from the campaign I’m so sick of people from our side finding every excuse to attack the greatest president of our lifetime We must have his back.”

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