CNN's Cupp: Trump Pandering to Ann Coulter's 'Wall Porn' 'Fetish'

During Saturday’s edition of S.E. Cupp Unfiltered, the eponymous host gloated about President Trump’s decision to “cave” to the Democrats as she opened her show. She later had some unusual analysis when it came to the border wall, arguing that a handful of President Trump’s supporters have a “sexual fetish” for a wall on the southern border with Mexico.

The beginning of Cupp’s analysis on the ramifications of the end of the government shutdown did not differ that much from the commentary from her cable and network news colleagues. Prior to the introduction of her guests, Cupp reacted to President Trump’s decision to reopen the government for three weeks without securing money for the border wall: “Cave, cave, cavy, cave cave. That’s right, the dreaded c-word so many Republicans had feared came to pass in the Rose Garden yesterday.”

While MSNBC’s Kelly O’Donnell touted the “ginormous win for Pelosi,” Cupp wondered whether or not President Trump will “just wait for Nancy Pelosi to, you know, back the car up and run him over again.”

 

 

Cupp took many shots at the President throughout her opening monologue, arguing that he had become an “empty suit” following the end of “Republicans’ total control of Congress to bolster his unpopular policies and weaken his checks on his authority.”

She also argued that President Trump needed to listen to the American people “instead of only Fox News between the hours of 6 and 9 in the morning and 8 to 11 at night.” Cupp concluded her monologue by arguing that “President Trump now has twenty days to learn how to be President.” However, unlike many of her colleagues in the media who want to get rid of President Trump at all costs, Cupp announced that “I, for one, am rooting for him.”

Eventually, the conversation went off the deep end. According to Cupp, “there’s this, what I like to call a wall porn crowd, people like Ann Coulter and Steve King, who almost seem to have like a sexual fetish for a cement wall...a big beautiful erection of a wall, no pun intended...or maybe a little intended.”

After complaining that President Trump “seems to govern for an audience of like one or two,” Cupp asked Republican Strategist Alice Stewart “would it serve him to stop listening to Ann Coulter and start listening more to voters?” Stewart responded in the affirmative, as the chyron at the bottom of the screen noted how Coulter sent out a tweet describing President Trump as “the biggest wimp to ever serve as President.”

A transcript of the relevant portion of Saturday’s edition of S.E. Cupp Unfiltered is below. Click “expand” to read more.

S.E. Cupp Unfiltered

01/26/19

06:00 PM

 

S.E. CUPP: Cave, cave, cavy, cave cave. That’s right, the dreaded c-word so many Republicans had feared came to pass in the Rose Garden yesterday. The President caved after 35 days of a partial government shutdown that proved to be all pain and no gain for Trump and indeed the country. The President, with no cameras present, signed legislation last night funding the government through February 15; ostensibly giving Congress three weeks to reach an agreement on border security or he’ll do it all over again.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

PRESIDENT TRUMP: If we don’t get a fair deal from Congress, the government will either shut down on February 15th again, or I will use the powers afforded to me under the laws and the Constitution of the United States, to address this emergency.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CUPP: The final surrender came as the polls continued to worsen for the President. The economy continued to bear the brunt of the shutdown and perhaps the final straw? TSA, air traffic controllers and the airlines started to show troubling signs of strain. For the latest on how it all went down on Capitol Hill, let’s talk to CNN Political Director David Chalian. He is in Iowa for CNN’s live, live town hall with Senator Kamala Harris Monday night. Okay, David, we have new reporting suggesting Republicans, including Mitch McConnell, had had enough and basically told the President you can’t win this. What else do we know about how this, how this happened?

DAVID CHALIAN: Yeah, that’s right, SE, some great behind the scenes reporting from our colleagues Dana Bash and Jim Acosta and Kevin Liptak that revealed that on Thursday night, Mitch McConnell had two different phone calls with the President, the first one, as you’re suggesting, sort of saying the gig is up here. Remember, SE, on Thursday, that’s when those two votes took place in the Senate and you’ll recall that the Democratic plan actually got more votes than the President’s plan and more Republicans had crossed over; not enough to actually advance that legislation but enough to be a clear signal to Mitch McConnell, in addition to what he was hearing from his members, that the dam was about to break inside the Republican caucus, in the Republican conference in the Senate and so he delivered that message to the President. Then apparently, according to our reporting, the President was briefed about the pending air traffic situation that you just mentioned and that this was going to be a real problem, and that’s when he said we got to pull the plug on this, the shutdown has to come to an end.

CUPP: And so what about Nancy Pelosi and Democrats? Any indication yet as to what they are planning to do over the next three weeks?

CHALIAN: Well, you’ll recall, one of the things that Nancy Pelosi did successfully here throughout these 35 days of some, just, like, boggles the mind, meaningless shutdown because the President didn’t get what he wanted here.

CUPP: Anything.

CHALIAN: But you’ll recall that Nancy Pelosi kept her caucus completely unified on the message that we will not start negotiating until the government is open.

CUPP: Right.

CHALIAN: And there were some Democrats in her caucus, SE, that were getting nervous about that, because they also saw how frustrated the country was becoming with the shutdown but she said there is a plan here. Let’s just get the government open. So that won for her. Now comes that part where she said then we’ll talk.

CUPP: Yeah.

CHALIAN: She was asked very specifically yesterday if indeed, in three weeks, they’re going to pass a DHS funding bill that will have money, she didn’t say no. She said, have I not made my position on the wall clear? We know she’s not in favor of it but it certainly seems, a lot of Democrats talked about, in advance of the government opening, some plan to get $5 billion of border security, not wall funding, but more border security into this bill to make it perhaps enticing to President Trump to sign. It sounds like perhaps that’s where Democrats are heading into these negotiations.

CUPP: Wow, the next three weeks are going to be really, really fascinating to watch. David Chalian, thanks so…

CHALIAN: Yeah.

CUPP: …much for joining me tonight.

CHALIAN: Thank you.

CUPP: Okay, so now what? Well, the clock is ticking. We have 20 days. 20 days until America faces another possible shutdown, or maybe even a national emergency. 20 days to hope some kind of deal can be reached. But also, and maybe even more alarmingly, 20 days to find out if President Trump can learn how to govern. That’s a crash course, for sure, but that’s essentially where we’re at. Can Trump figure out how not to repeat his past mistakes to tweet, or will he just wait for Nancy Pelosi to, you know, back the car up and run him over again. Here’s the deal…we just learned that without Republicans’ total control of Congress to bolster Trump’s unpopular policies and weaken his checks on his authority, he’s little more than an empty suit. The moment Democrats took control of the House, he was proven utterly ineffective, powerless to bend Democrats and Senate Republicans or lagging poll numbers to his whim. His powers of persuasion and his tweets, his idle threats, none of it was enough, of course, to move Democrats. By shutting down the government, Trump finally got the lesson he never had to learn in his first two years in office; the executive and the legislative branches of government must work together. Trump thought he stood on an island of executive authority and Republicans often let him. He should have been, in that time, building coalitions in Congress, finding out where the pockets of support and areas of compromise were, laying out a clear agenda that Republican leadership could trust would be there if they backed it and then listening to the American people instead of only Fox News between the hours of 6 to 9 in the morning and 8 to 11 at night. Now to be fair, other Presidents have found coalition building in Congress difficult. LBJ, Bill Clinton were masters at it, Nixon and Obama not so much. But that’s the job and Republicans did Trump no favors in allowing him to skip out on this essential lesson in governing and Pelosi just schooled him in it. So President Trump now has 20 days to learn how to be President. I, for one, am rooting for him. All right, to help me look at what the next three weeks may bring, let me bring in my guests, CNN Political Analysts, Republican Strategist Alice Stewart, and former Comms Director for the Clinton White House, Joe Lockhart. Joe, I start with you, your boss Bill Clinton knew how to build these coalitions, famously worked with Newt Gingrich across the aisle on numerous, significant pieces of legislation, sometimes, you know, to the detriment of Democrats, but he did it. Can Trump and Democrats in Congress work together or are both sides sort of too entrenched?

JOE LOCKHART: Well, in theory they can. And I think you’re right, President Clinton, one of our most productive legislative years was 1996.

CUPP: Divided.

LOCKHART: During a re-election.

CUPP: Yeah.

LOCKHART: It was a divided Congress. We did some healthcare, we did, we raised the minimum wage…

CUPP: Right.

LOCKHART: So it can be done. A couple of things have to happen though. Trump has to stop thinking about I only govern for my base is one.

CUPP: Yeah.

LOCKHART: The rest of the country doesn’t matter.

CUPP: Yeah.

LOCKHART: That’s 65 percent of the country…

CUPP: Yep.

LOCKHART: …that he has excluded from governing, from governing. He’s also got…they have also got to build some trust.

CUPP: They, Trump and Democrats?

LOCKHART: Yeah…and, I think, and Trump and Republicans. I mean, he pulled the rug out of Republicans 35 days ago.

CUPP: Yes. Yes.

LOCKHART: And the third thing, and I think this is the most important. He’s got to start, he’s got to start dealing in real facts, not pretend. He keeps talking about emergencies that aren’t emergencies and it makes it very difficult for Democrats. You know, for instance, if you listen to him yesterday, the messaging makes no sense. If this was indeed a national emergency, well why didn’t he declare it and use the powers that he says he has?

CUPP: No, he’s sitting on it. Right. You don’t sit on an emergency. Right.

LOCKHART: And there isn’t…there is not an emergency at the border.

CUPP: Alice, do you think that Trump learned the right lessons from the past 35 days?

ALICE STEWART: We will find that out in the next 20 days…

CUPP: Yeah.

STEWART: Without a doubt and I think there are several things here. The, the fallout from this, we had his hard base and the left say he caved. Conservatives and Republicans say he compromised. The President and the White House says this was an opportunity, an opportunity for them to learn if Democrats are serious about border security.

CUPP: The next 20 days, you mean.

STEWART: Exactly. And so this is his time…

CUPP: Yeah.

STEWART: …this is his time to, to demonstrate that and I agree with you, he’s supposed to be the deal maker and a shutdown with nothing to show for it is probably not a chapter in The Art of the Deal and what we’re going to have here, first of all, this week will be like Groundhog Day. Republicans and Democrats will sit down in Washington, and Republicans will say we want $5.7 billion, we’ll give you protections for DACA…

CUPP: Yeah.

STEWART: … and TPS, and a few of these other things they threw in there, carrots they threw in there, the Democrats will say, no, we can’t have that, they have to realize they have to have a conversation to move this down the field.

CUPP: What will Democrats do? Will they negotiate?

LOCKHART: I think they will but I think they’ll negotiate on border security. It’s one of those issues that there’s been a bipartisan consensus on for a long time. There’s not a consensus on immigration reform, on amnesty, on pathway to cit…

CUPP: Right.

LOCKHART: …but if you look at border security and the funding for it, it has steadily gone up under Republican presidents, Republican congress and the same with Democrats, so there is a consensus. What there isn’t a consensus and what Trump has done is he’s made this wall, this sea to shining sea wall a litmus test on what America is about and he’s basically trying to convince people that we’re a country that has to keep everyone out, that doesn’t want to trade with our trading partners, that doesn’t want to participate in our alliances and the Democrats have said no, and it’s not so much they said no. The public, this election in 2018…

CUPP: Yeah.

LOCKHART: …was about immigration and it…

CUPP: Well, Alice, to…

LOCKHART: …and it, and it was a landslide for Democrats.

CUPP: To this point, to Joe’s point, I consider myself a border hawk.

STEWART: Right.

CUPP: I want strong borders.

STEWART: Right.

CUPP: I think we need to make illegal immigration harder and legal immigration a little easier.

STEWART: Right.

CUPP: But there’s this, what I call like a wall porn crowd, people like Ann Coulter and Steve King, who almost seem to have like a sexual fetish for a cement wall…

STEWART: A big beautiful wall.

CUPP: A big beautiful erection of a wall, no pun intended…or maybe a little intended.

LOCKHART: Yeah, a little.

CUPP: I don’t think, I don’t think the majority of Americans are that zealous about the wall. I think they want stronger borders and maybe even border fencing in some places but Trump seems to govern for an audience of like one or two. Would it serve him to stop listening to Ann Coulter and start listening more to voters?

STEWART: It absolutely would. And his base right now, even though they’re frustrated…he’s going to continue to hold on to that 35 percent if we make progress on this but…

CUPP: Right.

STEWART: But the problem is let’s find where we agree, 70 percent of Americans agree on protections for dreamers, and that’s something, hey…

CUPP: Right.

STEWART: Let’s put this on the table. That is nonnegotiable, we can all agree on that. And then work on securing the border. The President has been, I think it’s advisable to also include humanitarian aid, let’s look at drug detection equipment along the border, putting more boots on the ground, drones in the air not... 

CUPP: Cameras, right.

STEWART: Exactly and not just the border wall because just the wall itself is off-putting for Democrats, even though they supported the Safe Fence Act of 2006…

CUPP: Yeah.

STEWART: …which was virtually the same thing. The difference is this has Trump’s name on it and they don’t want anything to do with that.

CUPP: I think that’s really smart, Alice. I hope the President gives you a ring now and then. That’s good advice.

STEWART: My phone is here.

CUPP: He should take it. Alice, Joe, thanks so much. Great conversation.

 

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