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Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump lawyers to Supreme Court: Jan. 6 committee 'will not be harmed by delay' Two House Democrats announce they won't seek reelection DiCaprio on climate change: 'Vote for people that are sane' MORE "panicked" when he said he was open to softening his immigration policies, according to conservative pundit and Trump ally Ann Coulter.
"It's just rhetoric but it's still annoying," Coulter told The Hill Wednesday night. "I think he panicked and he had to say [it] ... I don't think he is softening. I mean the big thing is the wall."
Coulter, a hardline opponent of illegal immigration and one of Trump's most prominent media backers, was speaking to The Hill at a party to launch her new book, "In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome!"
In the book, Coulter writes that "there's nothing Trump can do that won't be forgiven. Except change his immigration policies."
But now that Trump is toying with doing just that, Coulter is placed in the awkward position of having to defend a man who is no longer drawing such a hard line on immigration as he once did.
Trump and his campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, have signaled that his promised mass deportation force — which Trump said in the primary would be used to deport all 11 million illegal immigrants — may be a thing of the past.
And on Tuesday night, in a televised town-hall event, Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity, "There certainly can be a softening, because we're not looking to hurt people."
Told of Trump's comments that evening, Coulter said on MSNBC Tuesday that it sounded like consultants were getting in Trump's ear and that her book tour could be cut short if Trump followed their advice.
But a day later, at the Washington party Wednesday night, Coulter insisted that Trump would not ease up and could be counted on to stick to his tough primary promises.
Coulter was making her pitch to a receptive audience. Her book party was hosted at the Capitol Hill row house headquarters of right-wing news outlet Breitbart News.
Breitbart has been a heavy promoter of Trump and has become so intertwined with the GOP nominee's campaign that Breitbart's chairman, Stephen Bannon, recently left the news organization to become the campaign's CEO.
Breitbart's Washington political editor, Matthew Boyle, has been doubling as an informal Trump campaign adviser and has been seen giving strategic advice to Trump aides while simultaneously reporting on them from the trail.
Boyle told The Hill that the event for Coulter fell perfectly in step with Trump's Wednesday night rally in Mississippi, which included an appearance by British politician and leader of the Brexit movement Nigel Farage.
"It's only fitting that as Donald Trump stood alongside Nigel Farage in Mississippi tonight leading the worldwide movement against globalist elitists both in the UK and here in the US that the Breitbart team would be holding another book party with Ann Coulter — a driving force ahead of the curve on the nationalist populist movement that has seen the rise of Trump and Brexit shock the political class and international establishment," he said.
Boyle said the first party Breitbart did for Coulter, promoting her book "Adios America," coincided with Trump's campaign launch. He said that first book "set the tone for this election," and the new publication will "surely drive the narrative from here on out until Nov. 8."
Shortly before being introduced by Boyle on Wednesday night, Coulter told The Hill what she wished Trump had said at the Hannity town hall.
"What he should've said is 'We'll decide.' No one has a right who is here illegally. No one has a right to stay. We'll decide if it helps the country or not for them to stay," she said.
Coulter also rejected the suggestion that Trump was beginning to sound more like moderate Republicans such as Florida Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioThe Hill's 12:30 Report: Djokovic may not compete in French Open over vaccine requirement Florida looms large in Republican 2024 primary How a nice-guy South Dakota senator fell into a Trump storm MORE, who once supported comprehensive immigration reform.
"No," Coulter said. "Rubio never wanted a wall. A big, beautiful wall."
"If [Trump] got rid of deporting illegals altogether, which he is not, it would still be better than any Republican who has run for president in my lifetime," she said.
"There's no reversal, there's no change," she added. "I'm annoyed with the rhetoric. I'm annoyed enough with what he actually did without the media being hysterical about things he didn't do."
"Listen to Stephen Miller," Coulter said finally, referring to Trump's policy director who holds hardline views on illegal immigration. "He has the policy."