WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump praised Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Tucker Carlson, and Laura Ingraham when asked what conservative voices helped to shape his views on declaring a national emergency, but he singled out one right-wing personality he does not follow: Ann Coulter.
“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,” Trump told reporters in the Rose Garden on Friday after he announced that he was declaring a national emergency to secure funding for the construction of a border barrier. “And you know I think she’s fine. I think she’s good, but I just don’t speak to her.”
Coulter has been a vocal critic of the president as he has tried to secure money to build the wall — attacking not just the government funding bill, which she says will constrain his power to build it, as well as the emergency declaration.
She tweeted earlier on Friday that the “the goal of a national emergency is for Trump to scam the stupidest people in his base for 2 more years.” She also wrote that the “goal is to get Trump’s stupidest voters to say ‘HE’S FIGHTING!’ No he’s not. If he signs this bill, it’s over.”
Popular on Variety
Trump said he hadn’t talked to Coulter in over a year.
“Probably if I did speak to her, she would be very nice, but I just don’t have time to speak to her,” he said. “I have nothing against her. In fact I like her for one reason. When they asked her, right at the beginning, who is 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.”
Trump, however, told reporters Coulter was “off the reservation, but anybody that knows her understands that.”
Trump answered questions from the press after making his announcement, veering off into a number of other subject areas, including China and North Korea, as well as opposition from the Democrats.
His comments about Coulter came after NBC News’ Kelly O’Donnell asked Trump which conservative voices helped to shape his views on his decision to declare a national emergency. In December, the White House had indicated that Trump would sign a funding bill, but after a backlash from voices on the right, he refused to sign it. That led to a 35-day government shutdown.
“Sean Hannity has been a terrific, terrific supporter of what I do. Not of me. If I changed my views, he wouldn’t be with me,” he said. “Rush Limbaugh, I think he is a great guy. He can speak for three hours without a phone call. Try doing that some time. For three hours he speaks. He’s got one of the biggest audiences in the history of the world. I mean, this guy is unbelievable.” He also offered praise for Carlson and Ingraham, two other Fox personalities.
He said the conservative commentators “don’t decide policy.”
Later, Coulter slammed Trump again. “He seems to think ‘the reservation’ is him, not his campaign promises,” she wrote. She also adding a dig at Trump’s claim that he doesn’t talk to her.
“THANK YOU, Mr. President for admitting that your total capitulation on campaign promises has nothing to do with me.”
And on KABC radio, she said that “the only national emergency is that our president is an idiot.”