Mar 24, 2018

Trump infuriates his base with tweeted veto bluff

Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A former White House official tells me that online conservative ire (Laura Ingraham, Ann Coulter, Mark Levin, etc.). about the spending bill President Trump signed yesterday — after a puzzling tweeted veto feint — "is the hardest I've ever seen the base turn on Trump over anything."

Why it matters: "A big reason why people voted for him was because of his apparent willingness to stand up to the entrenched political class in both parties. Voters wanted a fighter who wouldn't back down to 'the swamp' like a 'typical politician," the official told me.

  • "They were attracted to his strength and alpha mentality, but unfortunately yesterday's fake veto threat did little but make him look weak ... and his base took notice."
  • "Trump's base is literally begging him to throw McConnell/Ryan under the bus after today. Just search 'McConnell Trump' on Tweetdeck and you will see what I mean."

A White House official replies that a six-month continuing resolution would have led to no better outcome:

  • "The veto advocates hate Ryan and McConnell. Not good enough reason for us to veto."
  • "Thought one of the reasons DJT was elected was to get things done in a broken D.C.?"
  • Touché: "If there was a shutdown, would Axios headline praise Trump as shrewd negotiator, or ridicule as dealmaker who can't make a deal to fund the government?"

Go deeper

Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and U.S. ups its case count

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. Meanwhile, Italy reported its first virus-related death on Friday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,359 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 5 hours ago - Health

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.