On Friday, following his announcement that he would declare a national emergency in order to fund construction of a southern border wall, President Trump took questions from reporters.
One reporter asked the president the following question: “Could you tell us to what degree some of the outside conservative voices helped to shape your views on this national emergency?”
Trump replied, saying that Fox News’ Sean Hannity is “a terrific supporter of what I do,” but “if I changed my views, he wouldn’t be with me.” He also praised commentators Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson. The president added, however, that “they don’t decide policy.”
He then spoke about Ann Coulter:
In fact, if I went opposite – I mean, they have somebody, Ann Coulter. I don’t know her. I hardly know her. I haven’t spoken to her in way over a year. But the press loves saying, “Ann Coulter.”
Probably if I did speak to her, she’d be very nice. I just don’t have the time to speak to her. I would speak to her. I have nothing against her. In fact, I like her for one reason. When they asked her, like right at the beginning, “Who’s going to win the election?” She said, “Donald Trump.” And the two people that asked her that question smiled. They said, “You’re kidding, aren’t you?” “Nope. Donald Trump.”
So I like her. But she’s off the reservation. But anybody that knows her understands that. But I haven’t spoken to her. I don’t follow her. I don’t talk to her. But the press loves to bring up the name “Ann Coulter.” And you know what, I think she’s fine. I think she’s good. But I just don’t speak to her.
Ann Coulter was a major advocate for the president during the 2016 election, even writing a book titled, “In Trump We Trust.” However, Trump’s failure to achieve his signature promise of a southern border wall in the two years since his election has caused Coulter to sour on the president.
In response to Trump saying that he would sign the latest government funding bill that only includes $1.375 billion for border fencing, Coulter sent out a series of tweets denouncing the president and his “stupidest voters.” Coulter also absolved Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan of blame for what she believes is singularly the president’s failure.
Appearing on Fox News following the president’s press conference, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked by host Dana Perino about a persistent progressive talking point:
Do you think the media over-exaggerates the influence that somebody like Ann Coulter has on the White House?
Sanders replied: “I don’t think Ann Coulter has any influence over this White House, or influence over much of anything to be honest. I don’t think she did before the president became the president; I don’t think she does now. I just don’t see her as being an influential voice in this country, and certainly not one in this building.”