Is the Radical Right Finally Turning on Trump?
President Donald Trump's most ardent far-right fans are in a rage against him, alleging the he's betrayed them in two major ways: first by appointing former Iraq war booster John Bolton to head the National Security Council and second by signing a federal budget deal that increases spending while also not providing any funding for his long-promised border wall with Mexico.
Perhaps anticipating the anger of right-wing elites, in a public signing ceremony for the bill on Friday, Trump repeatedly claimed that he was "forced" into signing it and said he would not sign similar legislation in the future.
"There are a lot of things that I’m unhappy about in this bill. There are a lot of things we shouldn’t have had in this bill but we were, in a sense, forced if we want to build our military, we were forced to have," he said. "There are some things we should have in the bill. But I say to Congress, I will never sign another bill like this again. I’m not going to do it again. Nobody read it. It’s only hours old."
"This budget is a slap in the face," radio host Rush Limbaugh told his listeners Friday afternoon. "This budget is designed to separate Trump voters from Trump. This budget is designed to make Trump voters think Trump's presidency is irrelevant. ... It's so obvious what this is. This is the Washington establishment doing everything they can to destroy Donald Trump and to block his agenda."
Actor James Woods got profane in expressing his hatred for Republicans:
I never imagined I could loathe the @GOP more than the I loathe @TheDemocrats, but they got me with this suck-ass b… https://t.co/enEGGsQbIE— James Woods (@James Woods) 1521784386.0
Several other far-right figures claimed that Trump's willingness to sign the bill without getting border funding or spending cuts would doom Republicans' chances in the fall elections.
“I am concerned to my soul that this could be the last straw that caused all those people that worked to get majorities for Republicans,” Texas Rep. Louie Gohmert groused to Fox News Radio host Todd Starnes.
“If they don’t come out and vote, we lose the majority, the first order of business is impeaching President Donald Trump in the House,” Gohmert said. “There’s no doubt in my mind, that if they get the majority, they will impeach.”
Well here it is, all 2,232 budget-busting pages. The House already started votes on it. The Senate is expected to s… https://t.co/bO3qNZhME0— Senator Rand Paul (@Senator Rand Paul) 1521730977.0
Right-wing columnist Ann Coulter, author of a book called In Trump We Trust, also claimed the budget deal would ensure the president's impeachment.
IT'S 3-D CHESS! (There's never going to be a wall.)— Ann Coulter (@Ann Coulter) 1521826588.0
GOP is going to get wiped out in midterms and I'm not even going to say, "Too bad." https://t.co/mvdqI8GeCw— Ann Coulter (@Ann Coulter) 1521817797.0
“ I will never sign another bill like this again” Yeah, because you’ll be impeached.— Ann Coulter (@Ann Coulter) 1521826930.0
Others on the far right, including former Wisconsin sheriff and anti-Muslim activist David Clarke, claimed Democrats were effectively already running Congress:
Schumer the de facto leader of the Senate with his filibuster and Pelosi with the assistance of Ryan and McConnell… https://t.co/xX6AKlsZh5— David A. Clarke, Jr. (@David A. Clarke, Jr.) 1521837692.0
Today is the day @NancyPelosi took control of the House again. Thanks GOP! Shame on us for believing your lies.— Jim Hoft (@Jim Hoft) 1521826683.0
The Bolton appointment also proved enraging to many Trump supporters, most of whom are bitterly opposed to the militaristic foreign policy that the former United Nations ambassador has advocated for decades. But others supported Trump for giving Bolton the nod.
Conspiracy radio host Alex Jones tried his best to shill for Trump, even though he admitted during his Friday program he is not a fan of Bolton because "he still pushes the failed Iraq war and other things like that."
But Bolton's past advocacy for bombing Iran, North Korea, Syria, and elsewhere should not perturb people who want a less unilateralist foreign policy, Jones said. "For me, it's a side-issue. I'm not worried about it. Because you're going to get Donald Trump's policies, what we elected him for, not Bolton's," he said.
"But the word is on Bolton, he knows all the connections, he knows all the players in the State Department, in the UN, in the Pentagon, and that he will be an apparatchik or a tool, an effective munchkin, to use his words, to carry out the policies that the president wants carried out. And that he won't sit there and leak information like McMaster did as a final attack."
Jones' fans were not persuaded by his efforts to sell the Bolton pick.
"Lol Alex trying to spin the bad news. NO Alex, ur the tool if u really think John Bolton is good," one of his YouTube fans wrote.
Another commenter joined in the ridicule: "Alex, is swiveling in his chair to spin this one! What a joke."