Some of President Trump’s most devoted supporters sounded like they were ready to jump ship Thursday after reports that he had agreed on the parameters of a deal with Democrats on the status of young people who came to the country as the children of illegal aliens.
After a meeting at the White House Wednesday night, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi stated they had agreed with Trump “to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.”
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, tweeted: “If AP is correct, Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible.”
Former GOP congressman Joe Walsh agreed, saying: “Trump just screwed his base.”
Columnist Ann Coulter, a major voice for Trump in 2016 because of his hardline on illegal immigration, tweeted: “At this point, who DOESN’T want Trump impeached?” and “If we’re not getting a wall, I’d prefer President Pence.”
Trump insisted Thursday that “no deal was made,” but he has indicated he’s willing to compromise with Democrats on allowing some of the hundreds of thousands of young people who arrived in the United States illegally with their parents to remain in the country.
DACA is the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program initiated by an executive order by President Obama that delayed deportation for about 800,000 young people. Trump rescinded the order last week, but delayed shutting down the program for six months while urging Congress to come up with a legislative solution.
Responding to the outcry from Trump supporters, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that while DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding funding for Trump’s U.S.-Mexico border wall plans “was certainly not agreed to.”
Trump tweeted early Thursday that any potential deal “would be subject to vote” in Congress.
“The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built,” he said.
‘Art of the Steal’
Radio host Laura Ingraham, one of the best-received speakers at the Republican National Convention last year, tweeted: “THE ART OF THE STEAL: Let’s hope that Pelosi & Schumer misrepresented the #DACA deal.”
Fox Business Network host Lou Dobbs, known as a border-security hawk, tweeted: “Deep State Wins, Huge Loss for #MAGA No Countrvailing WH Force to Globalists Gary Cohn, Dina Powell, Gen. Kelly, Mark Short POTUS Betrayed.”
Fox News host Sean Hannity, who frequently interviewed Trump during the campaign, blamed Republican congressional leadership: “Well Mitch GREAT JOB! You failed so miserably with Healthcare and “excessive expectations” now @POTUShas to deal with Dem Leaders!”
Seeking to reassure his base, Trump tweeted: “No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote.”
But he also indicated the young people who came illegally with their parents might be allowed to stay.
“Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military? Really!…..”
He tweeted further: “…They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at young age. Plus BIG border security.”
Breitbart News, run by former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon, topped its page with the splash “Amnesty Don,” accompanied by an article headlined “Trump Caves In on DACA.”
Joel B. Pollak, senior editor-at-large for Breitbart News, tweeted: ”Republican voters did not elect Trump in 2016 to pass what Barack Obama could not.”
In a column Thursday, Pollak noted that the previous day he presented three conditions that Trump should insist upon before agreeing to any deal on DACA: “1. There can be no path to citizenship for DACA beneficiaries; 2. The border wall must be funded; and 3. Border security must come before legal status for DACA beneficiaries.”
He said that while the details of the DACA deal are to be determined, “the parameters that are being discussed suggest that Trump is ‘getting rolled.'”
A Rasmussen poll, meanwhile, showed 66 percent of likely U.S. voters said it’s good for the country if Trump works with congressional Democrats to advance his agenda.
It found Republicans (72%) are even more enthusiastic about the president working with congressional Democrats than Democrats (62%) and voters not affiliated with either major party (63%).
However, an analysis of exit polling conducted during the 2016 elections indicates the surveys on DACA don’t tell the whole story, according to Harry Enten and Perry Bacon Jr. of the statistical analysis site FiveThirtyEight. Exit polling in recent years has showed Republicans who take stronger stances against illegal immigration fare better in elections, and President Trump was no exception in 2016, with 73 percent of Trump voters saying immigration was of “very high importance” to them.