What has been at the forefront of President Donald Trump’s agenda ever since he announced his candidacy in 2015? Hint: You heard his audience yell it out multiple times at this rallies — “BUILD THAT WALL!”
Yet somehow CNN’s Chris Cillizza seems to believe that Trump was willing to give up on funding the border wall until his mind got turned around on the subject due to watching Fox News. I kid you not. That is Cillizza’s latest premise he promoted on December 20, shortly after Trump announced he would not sign any short term continuing resoltion to keep the government open unless it included border wall funding.
Cillizza made his case attributing hypnotic powers over Trump to the network whose ratings vastly exceeds CNN’s in “Why Donald Trump changed his mind on the border wall (HINT: It has to do with Fox News)”:
Just 72 hours removed from signals being sent out of the White House that the President would sign a bill to keep the government open that did not include the $5 billion he wants for a border wall, Donald Trump reversed course Thursday — telling Republican congressional leaders that he would not sign the short-term continuing resolution passed by the Republican-controlled Senate on Wednesday.
…What led Trump to change his mind? To go from an annoyed willingness to keep the government open (and avoid being blamed for the shutdown) to a refusal to do so unless more money for his border wall made it into the legislation?
Here’s my working theory:
Substitute “wacky” for “working” and you would be closer to the mark as we shall see:
- Trump watches and is influenced by a LOT of cable television (we know this from his Twitter feed, in which he quote tweets supportive cable voices)
Trump’s go-to show is “Fox and Friends,” the morning show on Fox News Channel — his preferred cable TV network (we know this from his Twitter feed too)
On Wednesday morning, the hosts of “Fox and Friends” blasted Trump’s seeming capitulation on the border wall.
Sherlock Cillizza is building his laughable case:
“What a stunning turn of events,” said Steve Doocy. “If [Trump] agrees to the [short-term funding resolution] which would continue funding the government at the current levels … he loses and the Democrats will win everything they want.”
Added Ainsley Earhardt: “People who voted for him and want the wall and went to the polls to vote for that wall, they want to know how he’s going to do this and they want to know why he seems to be softening his stance this morning.”
If you think that criticism didn’t impact Trump’s thinking on the wall, you don’t know Trump. He prizes his political base over all else. And he views “Fox and Friends” as the in-house programming for the base. If “Fox and Friends” is blasting him, Trump knows his base hears it. And he doesn’t like to ever get sidewise with his base. (In that, Trump is not totally unique. Most politicians always keep an ear to what their base is thinking and saying. But no president has done that to the extent Trump has.
Cillizza seems to have forgotten Trump’s recent shutdown threat over border wall funding he made last week to Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi in the White House. Instead he promotes his wacky theory about Fox News having a hypnotic power over him.