Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trump Tests Loyal Base with Immigration Flirtation with Dems

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Trump Tests Loyal Base with Immigration Flirtation with Dems

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * Few issues have animated President Donald Trump's ardent supporters more than his pledge to build a wall along the nation's southern border. Now, Trump's decision to put that promise aside at least temporarily while he pursues a deal with Democrats to protect young immigrants brought to the country illegally may test the limits of that loyalty.

Some avid Trump backers praised the president as a pragmatist trying to make deals with whomever he can. But others recoiled at the prospect of Trump joining forces with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi on immigration, and seeming to get little in return.

"Many supporters of the president wonder whether our king has been captured and (White House chief of staff John) Kelly and a clique of generals and their globalist friends are now governing," said Roger Stone, a longtime informal adviser to Trump. His comments reflected the growing concern among some Trump backers about the diminished presence of nationalist advisers in the West Wing.

Amy Kremer, who founded the group Women Vote Trump, likened the president's deal-making with Democrats to one of history's most notorious political flip-flops: President George Bush's broken campaign-trail vow that he wouldn't raise taxes.

"If the wall doesn't get done and he gives amnesty, he'll lose the base," Kremer said. "You're going to see an absolute revolt."

The worry was sparked by Trump's startling efforts to forge consensus with Schumer and Pelosi "Chuck and Nancy," as the president has cozily referred to the Democratic duo over the fate of nearly 800,000 people brought to the U.S. illegally as children. Trump, Schumer and Pelosi discussed the matter at a private White House dinner Wednesday night.

On Thursday morning, the president a former Democrat himself and the minority leaders appeared largely aligned. …

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