John Avlon is CNN's snarkiest commentator. I sincerely believe he stays up nights working on sarcastic quips designed to get him noticed. But this morning, it was an apparent ad lib that is of note.
On New Day, Alisyn Camerota asked why President Trump hasn't accepted a deal that would end the partial government shutdown. Co-host John Berman, referring to a statement by Ann Coulter, offered an explanation, saying he had "a sign, a word from up above." Avlon interjected:
"Whoa, whoa: directionally off!"
So, Ann's not speaking from "up above," but from the other direction? Is that the point?
The show proceeded to play a clip of Coulter from a Vice News/HBO interview in which she said President Trump would be politically "dead, dead, dead" in the water if he doesn't build the wall.
Note: as you'll see from the screencap, the panel was greatly amused at the invocation of Coulter's name. Brings to mind the hilarity on Bill Maher's set when, during the 2016 primary season, Ann said that Donald Trump was the Republican with the best chance of winning the general election. So who's laughing now?
6:07 am ET
JOHN AVLON: We know how this actually ends. We've known it for months. There's some kind of deal, when the government gets open there's a deadline to do an actually balanced package that probably looks a lot like what they could have passed last year, which is border security for dreamers—and maybe even something bigger.
. . .
ALISYN CAMEROTA: So why aren't they doing this today?
AVLON: Because the President instinctively rejects that.
JOHN BERMAN: Well, let me tell you why they're not doing it today. I have a sign, a word from up above about what's going on here. Ann Coulter [laughter on the set] --
CAMEROTA: That's two words.
AVLON: Whoa, whoa: directionally off.
BERMAN: Ann Coulter, Ann Coulter, who the President likes to listen to on the wall, she did an HBO interview in which she explained why the president is not budging. Listen:
ANN COULTER: But recently, in the last couple of weeks we've reeled him back. The one thing I think, not only with Trump, I would think especially with Trump but I would think with anyone, is self-preservation and self-esteem.
VICE NEWS INTERVIEWER: So why is he digging his heels in on immigration now?
COULTER: That's why, that's why --
INTERVIEWER: But why now?
COULTER: It is self-preservation. Because he's dead in the water if he doesn't build that wall: dead, dead, dead.