Trump supporters angry at his ‘retreat’ on border wall

US President Donald TrumpImage copyright
AFP

Supporters of US President Donald Trump have turned on him after he was yet again denied funding for a border wall.

Late on Wednesday, the US Congress approved a spending bill to keep federal agencies open until February.

The Republican president was foiled in the Senate by members of his party, who refused to grant him any of the $5bn (£4bn) he wants for a US-Mexico wall.

Two years on, Mr Trump has been unable to deliver on the central campaign pledge that electrified his rallies.

Congress faces a Friday midnight deadline for averting a partial shutdown of the federal government.

Failing to agree a longer-term spending plan, the Senate has only been able to approve a seven-week extension of funds.

The House of Representatives is expected to act on the legislation later this week.

President Trump was quick to voice his displeasure, saying on Twitter on Thursday that he would not sign any legislation that does not include the wall.

But he has repeatedly threatened to veto budget bills that do not include funding for his project, only to sign such measures once they reach his desk.

Members of the ultra-conservative House of Representatives Freedom Caucus were up in arms.

North Carolina congressman Mark Meadows, a key Trump supporter, said: “He [Trump] campaigned on the wall.

“It was the centre of his campaign. The American people’s patience is running out.”

He called on the president to veto the bill and renegotiate.

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Reuters

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President Trump’s border wall prototypes near the US-Mexico Border in California

Ohio congressman Jim Jordan noted in exasperation that it will only get more difficult next month once Democrats become the majority in the House.

“Let me get this straight,” Mr Jordan tweeted. “Our chances of getting the Wall will be better in February when Nancy Pelosi is Speaker than now when we have the majority?

“Give me a break.”

Mr Trump’s champions in the media are also up in arms at his failure to seal the deal.

Breitbart News called it a “cave”. The Drudge Report used the headline, “Trump in Retreat”.

Radio host Rush Limbaugh said Mr Trump is going to “get less than nothing”.

Right-wing columnist Ann Coulter – author of In Trump We Trust – recently warned the president will not be re-elected.

“Without a wall, he will only be remembered as a small cartoon figure who briefly inflamed and amused the rabble,” she wrote.

Fox News host Laura Ingraham also posted a critical tweet.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said Mr Trump is weighing his options.

“At this moment, the president does not want to go further without border security, which includes steel slats or a wall,” she said in a statement.

Despite enjoying two years of a congressional majority, Mr Trump was always unlikely to reach the 60 votes that funding for his wall would need in the Senate, where his party only currently has 51 seats.

And some Republican lawmakers have objected to the barrier proposal, citing its cost and their reluctance to divert funding from other budgets, such as the military.

While the wall debate continues, the Department of Homeland Security announced that migrants who illegally enter the US – including asylum seekers – will be forced to wait in Mexico for their cases to be heard.

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Brian Kolfage / Facebook

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Iraq War veteran and triple amputee Brian Kolfage (pictured with his family) has launched a wall fundraiser

The Mexican government has said it will offer migrants work visas and protections while they await asylum proceedings, according to the US Department of State.

The advocacy group Kids in Need of Defense called the move “unconscionable”, saying that many families are fleeing violence.

Meanwhile, some among Mr Trump’s base have decided to take matters into their own hands, launching a $1bn online fundraiser to build the wall.

A GoFundMe has amassed more than $5m in the last three days, and a Facebook page for the campaign has tens of thousands of followers.

Brian Kolfage, the Iraq War veteran behind the fundraiser, said raising the money was achievable if every Trump voter pledged $80.

“This won’t be easy, but it’s our duty as citizens,” Mr Kolfage said. “We can help President Trump make America safe again!”

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