With President Donald Trump set to comment on the ongoing stalemate over funding for the U.S.-Mexico border wall in his Oval Office address on Tuesday night, conservative pundit Bill Kristol predicted that the address could ultimately lead to the president losing support from many of his supporters in the Republican Party.
Appearing on CNN’s The Lead with Jake Tapper on Monday night, Kristol was first asked for his reaction to Democratic Congressman Jerry Nadler’s recent remarks on Trump’s address, where, as noted by the Hill, he said he expects the president to “lie to the American people.” Kristol told Tapper that he believes Trump should go ahead with the address, but expressed skepticism that the speech would do much good at the end of the day.
“I think if he gives it and it goes nowhere, which is what I would expect, I think by Wednesday-Thursday, then you see serious erosion of Republican support on the Hill,” Kristol said, as quoted by the Huffington Post.
“This is Trump’s last card. What else is he gonna do?”
Following those comments, Tapper brought up the possibility that Trump would declare a national emergency in order for his border wall project to push forward and get the funding it needs. Per Mediaite, the CNN host cited a tweet from Democratic Congressman Tom Malinowski, where the freshman representative expressed his doubts that Republican senators will vote in favor of letting the president “use the military to defy the Congress.” This prompted a remark from CNN’s Amanda Carpenter, who said that it would take some sort of “political pain” in order for the Senate to vote against a national emergency.
The conservative commentator has a sad warning for Trump about his Oval Office address. https://t.co/D1eWe3wkcd— HuffPost (@HuffPost) January 8, 2019
“If you let the president just take $5 billion by declaring a national emergency when the Congress has explicitly not appropriated it — you might as well give up,” Kristol replied.
“I do think Republican senators would balk at this.”
As previously reported by the Wrap, Bill Kristol has long been a fierce critic of Donald Trump and his administration. Kristol is the founder of the now-defunct Weekly Standard. The magazine, which published its last issue in December of 2018, had stood out as a “rare conservative voice” opposed to the Trump presidency. Kristol and his media outlet had earned some scathing comments from Trump himself, after it was announced that the Weekly Standard would be stopping print after 23 years in publication.
In a Twitter post last month, Trump referred to the Weekly Standard as “pathetic and dishonest” and called Kristol a “failed prognosticator” who, like a lot of his other detractors, “never had a clue.”