The federal government shutdown caused by President Donald Trump’s fight over his proposed border wall may not just be a distraction from his legal troubles, but a way to shore up his base ahead of a possible impeachment trial, CNN analyst Fareed Zakaria said Thursday.
Appearing with CNN host Don Lemon, Zakaria said that Trump’s support of the wall was what separated him from the rest of the GOP pack at the beginning of his political career.
“What separated him from all those 16 Republican candidates was immigration, was the wall, was that he was going to be tougher than anyone else,” said Zakaria. “That is the heart of his campaign. That is why the base loves him.”
Trump is now pursuing a “base-only strategy” Zakaria said.
“Part of me thinks that this is the anti-impeachment strategy,” he said. “What he’s doing is locking in a base so strongly that no Republican would dare cross it because they would worry about being primaried.”
‘You can hear Republican talking points disintegrating’ during Vindman testimony: CNN’s Toobin
The testimonies of Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and State Department official Jennifer Williams on Tuesday offered damaging accounts of their concerns about President Donald Trump's efforts to pressure the Ukrainian government to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden.
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin came away impressed by the two officials' testimony, and he said they made a significant dent into the Republican Party's strategy to defend Trump.
"There was a sound you can hear during a lot of the testimony today, which was Republican talking points disintegrating, like crystals falling apart," he said.
‘Close friend of the president’: The Hill’s owner let columnist feed Trump conspiracy stories — here’s why
Trump did ‘real damage’ to himself with attack on Yovanovitch and he’ll be watching again today: NYT’s Haberman
Appearing on CNN's "New Day," New York Times White House correspondent Maggie Haberman stated that Donald Trump did serious damage to his defense against impeachment when he attacked former Ukraine Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch on Twitter as she testified last week and added she fully expected the president to watch Tuesday's hearing with interest.
Speaking with hosts Alisyn Camerota and John Berman, Haberman was asked what the American public can expect from the president on Tuesday as Jennifer Williams, an aide to Vice President Mike Pence, and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, an Army officer who works on the National Security Council testify.