Many of President Donald Trump’s top media allies blasted him over the decision to launch strikes against Syria on Friday.
In one major conservative media ecosystem after another, the president met opposition, and concern about the financial cost of another foreign intervention, from many of the people who are normally his most vocal cheerleaders.
On Fox News, the strike was met with heavy skepticism by several of the show’s primetime hosts. While close presidential ally Sean Hannity praised Trump’s assertiveness, hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham both questioned the decision to strike.
Ingraham sparred with former Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka, saying she’d learned from her support of the Iraq War that intervention can be incredibly costly.
“I guess it feels good because there are horrible things happening there,” Ingraham said. “But what do we really accomplish here tonight in Syria? This is not why Donald Trump got elected."
Among conservative radio personalities, the reception was equally frosty.
Ann Coulter spent the evening retweeting criticism of the strike, remarking on Twitter that former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe might beat Trump in 2020 “if you promised no more ‘stupid wars.’”
Michael Savage, a popular conservative radio talk show personality, livestreamed himself at dinner blasting the president, saying that America had become “a nation of idiots” in the wake of the attack.
“My opinion is that this is the greatest disaster of the Trump presidency,” Savage said while pointing the camera at a plate of beans.
Many critics of the strikes noted Trump’s skepticism about foreign wars in general, and the Iraq war in particular, during his presidential run (even as he also pledged to “bomb the shit out of” ISIS).
“This is clearly not something he ran on, and and it’s inconsistent with a lot of things that he’s said over the years,” Carlson said on Fox News before Trump’s announcement.
Trump found even greater hostility in the far-right alternative media ecosystem online, where many of his most bombastic supporters are also stauch anti-interventionists, and have previously condemned his foreign military actions.
Infowars founder Alex Jones, a former libertarian Ron Paul supporter, launched into several conspiratorial rants about the nature of the strike, breaking down in tears and railing against Trump and Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
“Fuck Trump, and fuck these fucking people,” Jones said.