It was a partnership forged by necessity: Ann Coulter, the far-right commentator and provocateur, and Donald Trump, the reality-show star and Democrat-turned-Republican icon.
And for a while, it seemed like it was working. Trump touted Coulter’s books and support on Twitter. Coulter returned the favor, calling Trump an “emperor god” and titling a recent book “In Trump We Trust.”
They have a common goal: to build the wall on the southern border with Mexico that Trump made a central promise of his presidential campaign.
But Coulter has been one of the many voices from the far-right who has made it clear that their support is contingent on Trump being able to carry out his campaign pledge. It is unclear where she stands on Trump’s campaign vows to have Mexico pay for the wall.
This week, Trump unfollowed Coulter on Twitter, according to an automated account that tracks changes to the Twitter accounts of the Trump family.
The small slight was a sign of the tension that swelled this week between the president and his far-right supporters after the White House signaled Trump would back away from his vow to shut down the government if funding was not secured for the border wall.
Coulter, along with other allies in the hyperpartisan world of conservative media, led the charge, unleashing a full attack: on Twitter, in her writing and on a podcast.
“Gutless President in Wall-Less Country,” her column, which ran on Breitbart, was titled.
“This utterly unlikely and, at least for president, in many ways, a not particularly attractive presidential candidate beat the most qualified woman ever to run for the office, basically on one promise: the promise to build a wall and never backing down on that,” she said on the Daily Caller’s podcast.
She said Trump’s White House risked becoming a “joke presidency that scammed the American people” if he wasn’t able to get the wall built, and said she wouldn’t vote for him in 2020 if he didn’t.
“Why would you?” she said. “To make sure Ivanka and Jared can make money? That seems to be the main point of the presidency at this point.”
On Twitter, she tweeted a barrage of criticism about Trump.
A master troll, she even retweeted an interview from the 1990s in which she spoke glowingly about the importance of the Constitution’s impeachment clause.
Trump changed tack on Thursday after pressure from his base, saying he wouldn’t sign a budget deal that would avert a government shutdown without money for the wall. And Coulter had a retort.
“BREAKING: Doctors announce world’s first successful spine transplant,” she wrote.
Later, she tweeted, “Maybe if we left Jared’s friend, Saudi prince MSB [sic], alone with Trump we’d get a wall!”
Coulter was referring to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, often referred to as MBS, who has been accused of ordering the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Coulter’s anger over the lack of a border wall has been building throughout Trump’s presidency. In September 2017, she went on another Twitter tear, issuing satirical insults directed at the president and again raising questions about impeachment.
She had drawn her line in the sand previously. In “In Trump We Trust,” she wrote that there was nothing Trump could do “that won’t be forgiven,” except one thing: “change his immigration policies.”
She told The Washington Post via email that Trump’s Twitter snub was a minor slight.
“I don’t think the important thing is his quitting as a follower, it’s his quitting as a leader,” she wrote.