WASHINGTON – Ann Coulter is not happy, but she is making it crystal clear in an exclusive interview with WND that she is not splitting with Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump over his recent amnesty remarks, as several media outlets erroneously reported.
Coulter unleashed a series of tweets early Thursday morning that were critical of comments made the day before by Trump indicating he might flip-flop on his opposition to amnesty for illegal immigrants.
In an email to WND titled, “Exclusive on-the-record follow-up,” the influential columnist and best-selling author explained:
“Unlike crazed, cult-like Hillary supporters (and Cruz supporters, fyi), I’ve provided helpful criticism to Trump in the past, e.g., over the Heidi Cruz retweet, over the H-1B sellout, and other things.”
“THAT DOESN’T MEAN I’M ABANDONING HIM,” she wrote in all capital letters, to remove any doubt.
Referring to her new book released Wednesday, “In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome!” Coulter said on MSNBC earlier in the week, “This could be the shortest book tour ever, if he’s really softening his position on immigration, but I don’t think he is.”
Her comments to WND strongly indicated she still trusts Trump, while calling for him to stay true to his policy of opposing amnesty.
“‘Shortest book tour ever,’ was a joke! Yeah, it’s genuine criticism, but it’s made to encourage a righting of the ship, not to walk away in a tantrum the first time he says something stupid.”
“He’s said stupid things before!” she continued. “I know he wants to put Americans first and, in the end, he won’t be fooled by the amnesty fanatics and their legerdemain.”
That “genuine criticism” was directed at comments Trump made to Sean Hannity on Fox News Wednesday night:
“No citizenship. Let me go a step further — they’ll pay back-taxes, they have to pay taxes, there’s no amnesty, as such, there’s no amnesty, but we work with them. Now, everybody agrees we get the bad ones out.”
“But when I go through and I meet thousands and thousands of people on this subject, and I’ve had very strong people come up to me, really great, great people come up to me, and they’ve said, ‘Mr. Trump, I love you, but to take a person who’s been here for 15 or 20 years and throw them and their family out, it’s so tough, Mr. Trump,’ I have it all the time! It’s a very, very hard thing.”
What concerns strong illegal immigration opponents, such as Coulter, is to hear Trump begin equating citizenship with amnesty. That was the argument Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., used to push his doomed “Gang of Eight” bill, otherwise known as comprehensive immigration reform, in claiming he was not promoting amnesty – even though he would let millions upon millions stay in the country legally.
And when Trump mentioned that illegal immigrants in the country would have to pay back taxes, that looked like a clear indication to anti-amnesty advocates that he would let those untold millions stay in the country legally.
Coulter told WND, “The point is: WHY IS HE TALKING ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS TO ILLEGALS AT ALL? This has been the problem with the immigration debate from the beginning. The tub is overflowing! FIRST: turn off the water. Rubio, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, Paul Ryan, and John McCain always want to start with, ‘What we do with the water crawling up the walls?’ They assure us that someone will turn the water off at the same time. That’s ‘comprehensive’ immigration reform.”
“NO!” she continued. “First step: Build the wall. Second step: Let ICE do its job. Third step: Stop importing jihadists and welfare recipients. Fourth step: enforce e-verify to protect American jobs. Fifth step: prosecute social security card/ID theft/voting fraud.
“Then, once ALL the borders are secure, the criminals gone, our vote and jobs secure, and the Third World no longer pouring in — we’ll get to what to do with the illegals still here.”
“Even at that point,” she mused, “given a choice between 1) worrying about exorbitant taxes, having our schools and emergency rooms overrun, paying for all the translators and English as a second language classes, vast consumption of social security and Medicaid MEANT FOR OUR CITIZENS; OR, 2) worrying about whether it is ‘mean’ to deport people who came here illegally 20 years ago, but haven’t committed any other crimes — more Americans are worried about 1) than 2).”
“WHY IS HE EVEN TALKING ABOUT THE POOR ILLEGALS? WHAT ABOUT THE POOR AMERICANS?” she exclaimed.
Coulter did call for heads to roll in the Trump camp over his comments, while providing what amounted to a defense of the Republican presidential candidate himself.
“Trump needs to stick like glue to whomever writes his speeches and fire whomever told him Americans are up at night worried about the comfort and well-being of people who broke into our country illegally.”
Coulter even suggested a possible culprit, “Probably a Rubio staffer — maybe it’s Roger Ailes! Former head of Rubio super PAC.”
Ailes, the former Fox News chief, reportedly became a Trump adviser recently, although new campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway told CNN on Sunday, “He obviously has no formal or informal role with the campaign, but Mr. Trump speaks to many different people.”
Coulter extpressed great admiration for what Trump has been saying about immigration on the stump, providing a snippet of the Miami Herald’s coverage of his speech in Tampa on Wednesday:
“Hillary Clinton wants a totally open border. We are going to enforce our laws, remove people who overstay their visas,” he promised a boisterous crowd at the Florida State Fairgrounds. “Hillary Clinton would rather give a job to an illegal immigrant than to an unemployed Hispanic citizen, an unemployed African-American citizen, or even to a veteran.”
“I am going to suspend immigration wherever effective screening cannot take place and I am going to institute a new ideological screening program to keep out people who don’t share our values.”
“It’s very hard to square what he’s saying in his speeches with the nonsense about ‘back taxes,’ etc., on the Fox News Hannity interview,” Coulter told WND.
“Maybe he figured only Rubio-supporters are still watching Fox News, so he borrowed Rubio’s talking points on the Gang of Eight bill,” she quipped.
Turning dead serious, she continued, “But as Trump himself warned on Twitter when that amnesty bill was sailing through the Senate: THIS WILL KILL AMERICA.”
Coulter derided the claim of the bill’s supporters that it “wasn’t ‘amnesty’ because illegals would have to pay ‘back taxes’! … i.e. the American taxpayers gives them tens of thousands of dollars in EITC [earned income tax credit] tax ‘refunds.'”
Coulter further ridiculed advisers pushing amnesty, deadpanning, “More Americans are worried about the fate of little Crimea than are worried ICE doing its job and deporting illegals.”
Here are the tweets Coulter sent late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning, criticizing Trump’s amnesty remarks to Hannity:
Those tweets spawned such headlines as those shown below, which Coulter debunked to WND.
- Talking Points Memo: “Coulter goes to war with Trump and it is glorious”
- Slate: “Trump betrayal of Ann Coulter timed perfectly to release of Ann Coulter book about always trusting Trump”
- Huffington Post: “Donald Trump spoils Ann Coulter’s ‘In Trump We Trust’ book launch”
- New York Magazine: “To broaden his base of support, Donald Trump humiliates Ann Coulter”
- Business Insider: “Ann Coulter said there was one thing Trump could do to lose her support — and he just did it”