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For the Record: Trump’s backers are nervous, and it’s only Day -46

It’s not news when Ann Coulter, Sarah Palin and Joe Walsh are on the same page. But it IS news when they’re all on the same page criticizing Donald Trump. Trump’s moves since Election Day — from cabinet nominees to foreign diplomacy — have been endlessly criticized by Democrats and other lefties; Trump supporters have responded with some variation of “elections have consequences.” But with lobbyists and Goldman Sachs executives joining the Trump administration, a “pro-amnesty” congressman discussed as a possible secretary for homeland security and a conservative backlash against the Carrier deal, a few key conservatives are asking, “Hey, aren’t we supposed to get some awesome consequences at some point?”

All the backlash, plus Trump’s Taiwan telecommunications and the latest on Jill Stein’s recount efforts, are in your Monday edition of For the Record.

Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

For months, we thought Trump’s tweets were intended to distract the media. But what if they’re supposed to distract his base?

The Donald was criticized on Twitter Friday by Ann Coulter (author of “In Trump We Trust: E Pluribus Awesome!”) for “the big sell-out” — in other words, a backtrack on the border wall and other aspects of his immigration policy. Critics speculate that House Speaker Paul Ryan’s past support for a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants might become part of the Trump administration’s policy. Other supporters are worried that Trump will nominate Congressman Michael McCaul (D-Texas) to head up the Department of Homeland Security — another elected official tied to the amnesty movement.

So that’s one issue. Meanwhile, conservative radio host Joe Walsh took Trump to task for considering Goldman Sachs President Gary Cohn to head up the Office of Management and Budget, just days after selecting 17-year Goldman Sachs veteran Steven Mnuchin as Treasury secretary — this after railing against Hillary Clinton’s ties to Wall Street throughout the general election. Trump even slammed primary opponent Ted Cruz by saying “Goldman Sachs owns him.”

“Not much of a reformer!” he tweeted.

Oh, and then there’s the Carrier deal. Trump, Pence and Indiana economic development officials worked out a deal last month to prevent several hundred jobs from being shifted to a factory in Mexico. A great move for the president-elect, right? Sarah Palin, who hopes to become part of the Trump administration, doesn’t think so. In an op-ed for YoungCons.com, Palin attacked the incentives in the deal as anathema to the GOP’s free-market ideals. “Republicans oppose this, remember?” she wrote. “Instead, we support competition on a level playing field, remember? Because we know special interest crony capitalism is one big fail.”

Palin went on to say that “political intrusion using a stick or carrot to bribe or force one individual business to do what politicians insist … isn’t the answer.” She probably won’t be a fan of Trump’s plan to deal with Rexnord, another Indianapolis manufacturer planning to move operations to Mexico. In a series of tweets on Sunday, Trump vowed to impose a 35 percent tariff on Rexnord and all other companies which outsource manufacturing.

Best case for Trump: His supporters are simply holding him accountable for campaign pledges. Worst case: With criticism from all sides, the gold-plated honeymoon could be short.

Spend Jill Stein’s money

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The campaign said the state court system is ‘ill-equipped to address this problem.’
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Jill Stein’s recount efforts have found 110 more votes!

Trump votes, that is. So far, Donald has increased his lead in Wisconsin by 39 votes thanks to the $3.5 million recount effort; a federal judge has ruled that the recount will continue at least until a hearing this Friday. On the other side of the lake, a federal judge ruled that the hand recount in Michigan must begin at noon Monday.

And the Pennsylvania recount? Funny story. Saturday night, Stein dropped her bid for a recount, saying the backers were “regular citizens of ordinary means” and unable to put up the $1 million bond to cover the state’s expenses. But on Sunday, she announced plans to take the case to federal court. Also of note: Stein’s fundraising campaign to pay for the recounts has reached $7.1 million … but the legal fees to push for the recounts are estimated to be $2-3 million.

The China Monologues

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Donald Trump’s conversation with Taiwan’s president could seriously antagonize China’s government.
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Trump has been critical of China’s economic and foreign policies for months, and on Friday, he spoke with the Taiwanese president by phone — the first direct contact between Taiwan and a president (or president-elect) since “Hawaii Five-O” was on the air.

It was a dramatic shift in Sino-American relations. Either that, or it was a simple phone call.

China views Taiwan as a renegade province in the country’s unfinished civil war which began in 1927, so they’re about as happy as Spain would be if Trump was chatting up Basque separatists. (How big of a deal is it for China’s government? It refuses to have diplomatic relations with any country that recognizes Taiwan as separate from China. It even forces the International Olympic Committee to refer to Taiwan as “Chinese Taipei.”) For decades, however, Taiwan has operated as an independent nation, maintaining an uneasy balance between asserting itself and just laying low.

Within 24 hours of the call, China had lodged an formal complaint. “The one-China principle is the political basis of the China-U.S. relationship,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said in a statement Saturday. “We urge the relevant party in the U.S. to honor its commitment to the one-China policy and … and properly deal with Taiwan-related issues in a discreet manner, so as to avoid unnecessary disruptions to the overall China-U.S. relationship.”

Long story short: Good luck to whomever gets named secretary of State.

More from the USA TODAY Network

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