As the government shutdown continues, Donald Trump continues to get more agitated, tweeting from the White House residence as he is supposed to be on vacation in Palm Beach, Florida with his wife and youngest son. But Trump has stayed behind in D.C. with his son-in-law and advisor, Jared Kushner, and his oldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, engaged in a debate over how to end the government shutdown and still get the border wall that the president promised his supporters.
But now a number of journalists, including some conservatives who cover Trump fulltime are saying that the president is growing weaker and weaker, even in the eyes of those who previously had his back. Newsweek reports that this morning on MSNBC’s Weekend Joy, host Joy Reid noted that Republicans in Congress “clearly fear the Republican base and Fox News.”
Reid was joined by Washington Post’s columnist Jennifer Rubin and CNBC‘s editor at large John Harwood who assert that the Republicans in Congress seem to be folding to a president whose popularity isn’t impressive.
Harwood says that it’s a few pundits who speak to Trump’s base who are calling the shots.
“[Republicans] are just not willing to defy Trump or that base. It was Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh and that group of people, who called [Trump] on it. And if not for them, we’d be out of here.”
Trump’s administration is actually very weak. https://t.co/QcmPOW6w2W
— Slate (@Slate) December 19, 2018
Rubin says that the shutdown, the Mueller investigation, and the additional arrests are weakening Trump and causing him to lash out.
“He is weak and he’s getting weaker by the moment. And the fact that the Russian investigation, the other investigations, are closing in…”
Rubin explains that Ann Coulter and Rush Limbaugh threatening to withdraw their support showed increasing weakness and suggested that Trump isn’t really in charge, implying to his base that he is a puppet.
“Yes, absolutely. He needs desperately to hold on to those people. If those people break with him, then he is toast—I think he is toast, anyway.”
As the day went on today, Donald Trump seemed to become more volatile, tweeting assurances that he was still in the White House, and he continued to work, having lunch with Jared Kushner and others.
“I am in the White House, working hard. News reports concerning the Shutdown and Syria are mostly FAKE. We are negotiating with the Democrats on desperately needed Border Security (Gangs, Drugs, Human Trafficking & more) but it could be a long stay.”
But that hasn’t stopped people from taunting the president on Twitter, making jokes about his missed vacation and the weather down in Florida (where he had planned to be).
Conservative pundit and former head of The Weekly Standard, Bill Kristol tweeted that Trump is losing his grip stuck in the White House alone for the holidays.
“Trump’s going nuts being confined to the White House. By tomorrow he’ll accept a deal that provides funding for a dozen steel slats so he can head off to Mar-a-Lago.”