Supporters turn on Trump
Democrats deal seen as ‘betrayal’
SOME of Donald Trump’s strongest supporters are talking about “impeachment” after his latest deal with some of the Republicans’ arch enemies.
The US President has sat down with some of his staunchest critics – top Democrats Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi – to discuss immigration issues.
Frustrated with the catherding exercise involved in dealing with Congress, Mr Trump has become all about bipartisanship of late, reaching across the aisle to score some wins.
He blindsided his party last week when he went around the Republican leadership to extend the US debt limit with the agreement of the Democrats.
And he appeared to revive that tactic this week when he invited Mr Schumer and Ms Pelosi to the White House to resolve the contentious issue of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – a policy that saved nearly 800,000 foreigners who illegally entered American soil as minors from being kicked out of the country.
The Democrats declared victory after the meeting, saying in a joint statement that Mr Trump had agreed to protect the so-called “Dreamers” and establish a border security policy that was “acceptable to both sides”.
Importantly, these policies would be implemented without making progress on Mr Trump’s planned border wall between the US and Mexico.
Mr Trump tweeted in support of the Dreamers on Thursday morning: “Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military?”
His embrace of DACA goes against the hard-line stance on illegal immigration he took while running for president and his 2016 promise to “terminate” the policy.
Republican Congressman Steve King led the chorus of criticism from Mr Trump’s own side, tweeting: “Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible.”
Conservative commentator Ann Coulter – who once wrote a book called In Trump We Trust – was similarly incensed, tweeting: “At this point, who DOESN’T want Trump impeached?”
Even the readers of the Trump-friendly Breitbart News, run by the President’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon, ripped into him in the comments section of a story with the critical headline “Amnesty Don”.
“Put a fork in Trump. He is done,” one reader wrote.
An unnamed Breitbart editor told The Washington Post “this is a betrayal of the highest order”.
The issue has been confused by the mixed messages coming from Mr Trump, the White House and the Democrats.
Mr Trump tweeted early on Thursday that “no deal was made last night on DACA”, but about an hour later supported the policy.
“We’re working on a plan for DACA. People want to see that happen,” he said.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweeted that “excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to”, but an adviser to Mr Schumer tweeted: “The President made clear he would continue pushing the wall, just not as part of this agreement.”
Mr Trump clarified his position later on Thursday, telling reporters: “The wall will come later, we’re right now renovating large sections of wall, massive sections, making it brand new.”
COPPING HEAT: Donald Trump, accompanied by wife Melania, fields media questions at the White House.