And now for the backlash. After Donald Trump caved on Friday, agreeing to temporarily reopen the government in exchange for, well, bupkis, he was not universally hailed as the hero he envisioned himself as.
The three-week continuing resolution is pretty much the same deal Democrats had been offering since this whole thing started—and more or less the same one Trump and Republicans had agreed to prior to the shutdown, before the president changed his mind under pressure from hard-line conservatives. In announcing the deal, Trump seemed to acknowledge that his right-wing allies weren’t going to like what he had to say. “Many disagree,” he said from the White House Rose Garden, “but I really feel that working with Democrats and Republicans, we can make a truly great and secure deal happen for everyone.”
The immediate reaction from conservative media, however, was mixed—or least not as uniformly critical of Trump as you might expect given he was just bested on the national stage by Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, both of whom refused to negotiate over border funding while parts of the government were shuttered. While the Ann Coulters and Mike Cernovichs of the world were quick to blast the president for being a political coward, others like Bill O’Reilly instead focused on the short-term nature of the bill, which will give Trump the chance to hold the government hostage again in three weeks if and when Congress fails to find a comprehensive immigration deal to his liking. As Nicole Hemmer, an assistant professor at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center, points out, there is a fault line running between those who are border absolutists and those who are Trump loyalists. “Conservative media, like conservatives in general, are divided,” she observed on Twitter.
Here’s a smattering of initial reactions from right-wing media personalities.
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