Trump takes hit from conservative commentators on border wall

A pair of prominent conservative personalities knocked President Trump on Monday over a report that asserted his administration has not constructed a single mile of new wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The Drudge Report, an influential site run by conservative Matt Drudge, featured The Washington Examiner’s report as its main story on Monday afternoon with the banner headline: “NO NEW WALL AT ALL!”{mosads}

Conservative commentator Ann Coulter took note of the headline and added her own barb at Trump.

“I guess @realDonaldTrump is too chicken to call @DRUDGE a wacky nutjob,” Coulter tweeted.

The comment was a reference to March, when Trump called Coulter a “Wacky Nut Job” and defended his record on the border after she said those who voted for the president weren’t getting what they hoped for. 

The Examiner reported that since Trump took office, his administration has received funding for 205 miles of new and replacement barrier, but that Customs and Border Protection has only completed projects to replace outdated portions of already-existing fencing thus far.

Trump often asserts at his rallies and at media availabilities that his long-promised wall is already being built.

Administration officials defended the lack of new border wall, telling the Examiner that the replacement fencing had fewer zoning requirements and argued Democrats have blocked efforts to secure additional funding.

Trump defended his administration’s efforts on Twitter, writing Monday that he’s getting “zero credit” for replacing old barriers that “cannot do the job.”

Coulter in particular has been an outspoken critic of the president’s agenda on immigration. She backed Trump in 2016 but has repeatedly chastised him for signing spending agreements that did not contain funding for the border wall and criticized White House proposals that offer protections to those in the country illegally. 

The conservative backlash could swell as the Trump administration seeks a spending agreement with Congress and an increase in the debt limit before lawmakers leave for recess at the end of the week.

An emerging deal between House Democrats and the White House includes an increase in top-line defense and nondefense spending numbers for fiscal 2020 and fiscal 2021, which are used to craft government funding bills. It would also suspend the debt limit until July 31, 2021. 

—Updated at 7:21 p.m.

Tags Ann Coulter Border wall Donald Trump Matt Drudge
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