Trump praises several conservative media pundits during emergency declaration speech in Rose Garden

Television personality Sean Hannity, right, speaks as President Donald Trump listens during a campaign rally Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, in Cape Girardeau, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)President Donald Trump and Fox News host Sean Hannity.AP Photo/Jeff Roberson

  • Trump praised several conservative media pundits during his announcement to declare a national emergency and build additional physical barriers along the US-Mexico border.

  • Trump dismissed the notion that they shape policy, including Fox News host Sean Hannity, who has often informally advised him.

  • Trump characterized right-wing pundit Ann Coulter as "off the reservation."

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump praised support from several conservative media pundits upon declaring a national emergency to begin construction on additional miles of physical barriers along the United States border with Mexico.

During a press conference in the White House Rose Garden on Friday, Trump lauded supporters like Fox News flagship host Sean Hannity and talk radio anchor Rush Limbaugh.

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Trump defended his relationships with conservative media pundits, including Hannity, who has often served as an informal advisor to the president and appeared on stage at his political rallies.

"Sean Hannity has been a terrific terrific supporter of what I do, not of me," Trump said. "If I changed my views he wouldn't be with me."

Regarding Limbaugh, Trump praised his ability to speak nonstop for hours at a time, marveling at its difficulty.

"Rush Limbaugh, I think he's a great guy," he said. "He can speak for three hours without a phone call - try doing that some time. For three hours he speaks."

"He's got one of the biggest audiences in the history of the world. I mean this guy is unbelievable," Trump added. "Try speaking for three hours without taking calls. Taking calls is easy. OK I'll answer this one, I'll answer that one. He goes for three hours and he's got an audience that's fantastic."

Trump reiterated that these pundits "don't decide policy," hammering in that if he changed his positions they would abandon him.

Citing conservative pundit Ann Coulter, who has recently turned on him for being what she believes is too soft on illegal immigration, Trump said there is evidence his media allies will abandon him over key issues.

"Ann Coulter. I don't know her. I hardly know her," he said. "I haven't spoken to her in way over a year but the press loves saying Ann Coulter. Probably if I did speak to her I bet she'd be very nice. I just don't have the time to speak to her. I would speak to her."

"In fact I like her for one reason: when they asked her like right at the beginning, who is going to win the election?" Trump said. "She said Donald Trump."

"I like her," he added. "She's off the reservation but anybody that knows her understands that."

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