Trump tallies bash 'Amnesty Don'
NEW YORK (AP) — Fearing betrayal on a signature campaign issue, President Donald Trump's loyalists are lashing out against his proposal to create a path to citizenship for nearly 2 million "Dreamer" immigrants.
Trump-aligned candidates from Nevada and Virginia rejected the notion outright. A loyal media ally, Breitbart News, attacked him as "Amnesty Don." And outside groups that cheered the hard-line rhetoric that dominated Trump's campaign warned of fierce backlash against the president's party in November's midterm elections.
"There's a real potential for disaster," said Mark Krikorian, executive director of the far-right Center for Immigration Studies. "The president hasn't sold out his voters yet. But I think it's important that his supporters are making clear to him that they're keeping an eye on him."
The public scolding is aimed at a president who has changed course under pressure before. It presents Trump with a significant test on an issue that dominated his outsider candidacy and inspired working-class voters who propelled his rise. Now, barely a year into his presidency, Trump can bend either to the will of his fiery base or to the pressure to govern and compromise.
His leadership may determine the fate of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants and whether his party can improve its standing among surging numbers of Hispanic voters.
"There's a Trump movement. And It's not necessarily about Donald Trump," said Corey Stewart, a Republican Senate candidate in Virginia and a vocal Trump ally. "It's about the things that Donald Trump campaigned and stood for during his campaign. Ultimately, every elected leader needs to stay true to the message that they ran on, otherwise people will leave them."
The passionate response underscores the Republican Party's dilemma on immigration under Trump.