It was a humbling week for Donald Trump.
After caving on his demand for border wall funding and ending his shutdown, he went through the ignominy of being ridiculed by his longtime cheerleaders in the conservative media, being slammed as “a broken man” by Mike Cernovich and “the biggest wimp” by Ann Coulter.
But he would have found a crumb of comfort Monday morning when he tuned into his most loyal fans at Fox & Friends, where the hosts gave him a pass for his resounding failure to strong-arm Democrats into handing over the cash for his beloved border wall—and turned their fury on Coulter.
Trump has long been a fan of the conservative columnist. Her anti-immigrant views have helped shape Trump's, and she was instrumental in persuading the president to plunge the government into what would become the longest shutdown in history last month.
But the friendship was tossed on the scrapheap last week, after Trump buckled and ended the shutdown with no wall money, and Coulter wrote: “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.”
Trump himself has hit back at Coulter—telling the Wall Street Journal on Sunday that she's “very hostile ... maybe I didn’t return her phone call or something”—and the Fox & Friends hosts fell into line Monday.
Host Brian Kilmeade gave a Trump a pass for his failure, saying: “I don’t know if you lose this round at all. And if you do, I think people should understand, that’s what’s called politics. Sometimes you get a leg up, sometimes you don’t. What’s the big picture?”
After guest David Brody—from the Christian Broadcasting Network— directly accused Coulter of being “off her rocker” and “not representative of the base at all,” Kilmeade agreed and added: “I just think the president... has got to almost ignore people, whether it’s me or you one day, Ann Coulter today, and just do what he knows is best.”
Newt Gingrich also appeared on the show Monday to say Trump “should not pay any attention to Ann Coulter. Ann Coulter’s never run for office, she doesn’t know anything about how you put a majority together. She’s off here in some fantasyland where she gets to be noisy which helps her sell books.”
The show of solidarity may go some way in winning Trump back over to Fox News. Late Sunday he attacked two reporters from the network, John Roberts and Gillian Turner, saying that they had “even less understanding of the Wall negotiations than the folks at FAKE NEWS CNN & NBC!”
As for the wall, Trump has insisted that his ending of the shutdown “was in no way a concession” and vows that it will still be built.