Trump, aides call Fox hosts to defend border security deal after criticism: report

President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification MORE and White House aides have reportedly called Fox News and Fox Business hosts in an effort to defend his border deal with lawmakers from conservative media criticism.

The New York Times reported Wednesday that calls have been made to both Fox News host Sean Hannity and Fox Business’s Lou Dobbs to promote the deal, which provides $1.375 billion for border fencing, less than the $5.7 billion Trump originally requested for a border wall and other security measures.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The message: Mr. Trump deserved support because he still forced concessions that he would never have gotten without a five-week partial government shutdown,” according to the Times.

One such concession is a provision to provide $23 billion to immigration and border enforcement, a $2 billion increase from last year.

White House deputy chief of staff Bill Shine, a former Fox executive, is involved in the outreach campaign to improve the view of the deal, according to the Times.

The president and aides have reportedly attempted to paint the deal as “better than it seemed,” according to the newspaper, and have said that the shutdown over the border wall was beneficial because of the national attention it brought to immigration issues.

The report comes after criticism from right-wing media figures and lawmakers who have expressed disappointment with the bipartisan compromise.

Hannity tore into the “so-called compromise” on his show earlier this week, calling it “garbage.”

Dobbs criticized the deal on Twitter, calling it an “insult” to Trump and Americans.

And Fox News contributor Jedediah Bila on Wednesday said that the shutdown was a “waste of time” if Trump signs the deal.

Trump has expressed a willingness to sign the bill, but has not yet committed. He suggested that he can combine it “with lots of money from other sources” to get an ultimate $23 billion to build the wall.

Lawmakers are rushing to pass the bill on Thursday before a Friday deadline to prevent another partial government shutdown. The conservative House Freedom Caucus has moved to slow the process down, pitching a one-week stopgap bill to allow more time for negotiations.

The Hill has reached out to the White House, Fox News and Fox Business Network for comment.

Updated at 10:36 a.m.