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Nicole Lafond

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.

Articles by Nichole

While some Fox News hosts (Sean Hannity) caved to President Trump and switched gears on their critiques of the President’s support of a border funding deal, “The Five” co-host Jedediah Bila dug in her heels on Wednesday.

She lambasted Trump for floating fantasies, like “Mexico is going to pay for the wall,” that won’t work out and disappoint his base. She then suggested that if he puts his John Hancock on the compromise bill, the month-long shutdown he forced over his border wall funding demands will have been for nothing.

“He has to learn to stop doing this,” she said. “He put out there, ‘Mexico’s going to pay for the wall.’ Didn’t work out that way. He put out there, ‘I’m not going to budge, I’m going to dig my heels in.’ And then when you don’t, people are disappointed in you.”

“This whole shutdown was completely absurd and a waste of time if it wasn’t going to force him to kind of say, ‘You know what, my way or the highway, because this is a national emergency,’” she continued. “Either it’s a national emergency or it’s not. Make up your mind.”

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To combat scrutiny of the new border spending deal that President Trump intends to sign this week, Trump’s aides personally phoned two of the President’s favorite TV personalities at Fox to try to sell them on the compromise bill, The New York Times reported.

Calls were made to both Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Trump’s personal friend who’s been called a “shadow chief of staff,” and Fox Business Network’s Lou Dobbs whose show Trump likes to watch live. Aides tried to convince both that Trump “deserved support because he still forced concessions that he would never have gotten without a five-week partial government shutdown,” in the Times’ words.

The reverberation of the reported phone calls could be seen in real time, at least with Hannity. On Monday evening, Hannity railed against the deal while he covered Trump’s rally in Texas, calling it “garbage” and threatening to force any Republican who supported it to explain themselves.

The next evening, viewers could see the egg on his face.

He said he was “not as concerned as other conservatives” about the impending legislation, which allocates only a fraction of the $5.7 billion that Trump demanded for his border wall toward wall construction. He then tossed Trump an out if he wanted it.

“The President has every right to be angry,” he said. “The so-called compromise is typical of the D.C. sewer and swamp, and this level of funding for security and safety of the American people is pathetic.”

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