At long last, Congress has apparently reached a grand bargain to improve border security, lessen mass incarceration of migrants, and avert a shutdown. The deal would give President Donald Trump just $1.3 billion for barriers at the border, plus $1.7 trillion for other border security measures and humanitarian aid, while reducing the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention beds by 17 percent.
All signs indicate that Trump is going to sign the deal. And his allies both in Congress and on Fox News are enraged, blasting it as a “garbage compromise” that doesn’t give his voters what they wanted.
And according to The New York Times, Trump is evidently so worried about this discontent from his base that he is personally reaching out to his allies, including people he watches on conservative media:
As he inched closer to reluctantly accepting a bipartisan spending compromise without the money he demanded for his border wall, Mr. Trump offered no acknowledgment on Wednesday that his pressure tactics had failed even as aides sought to minimize the damage by tamping down criticism on the right.
One call was made to Lou Dobbs, a favorite of Mr. Trump’s whose Fox News show he often tries to catch live. Another was placed to Sean Hannity, the Fox host who regularly talks with the president. The message: The president deserved support because he still forced concessions that he would never have gotten without a five-week partial government shutdown.
Trump may feel the need to do this because the last time his supporters revolted — over a continuing resolution in December — Trump indulged them by rejecting the bill and shutting down the government, hoping that he could bully Congress into giving him his desired $5.7 billion border wall funding in full. This strategy ended in disaster for him, as his poll numbers collapsed and the public broadly blamed him for the shutdown — which Trump only ended after the crisis got so severe that the air traffic control system started collapsing.
Having emerged from that experience, Trump clearly lacks the appetite for a second round. And he has decided he would rather beg the forgiveness of Fox News than from the American people.