Fox News Panel Praises Trump for Bowing to Congressional Pressure, Signing Hong Kong Human Rights Bill: ‘Not a Battle Trump Wants’ Right Now


President Donald Trump’s quiet retreat and late-night signing of a human rights bill in support of the democracy protests in Hong Kong earned praise from a Fox News panel on Thanksgiving, even though the group recognized that the president faced an all-but-guaranteed Congressional override if he had vetoed it.

Despite having signaled for several days that he was unsure about supporting the bill in the midst of ongoing trade negations with China,  Trump ultimately backed down and revealed he had signed it in a late-night holiday news dump. The move brought an immediate response from the Chinese government, which said the passage of the human rights bill sends the “wrong signal.”

“What surprised me is, for the unconventional president he is, this was a conventional way to approach this,” Associated Press White House correspondent Aamer Madhani told Fox News anchor Mike Emanuel. “Slow walking it in the last six days and Wednesday night when most of Washington was already tucked into Thanksgiving, announcing he was signing this.”

“He really didn’t have much of a choice, though,” noted Susan Ferrechio, chief Congressional correspondent for the Washington Examiner. “It was passed nearly unanimously in the House and the Senate, which means they would easily override a veto. That is not a battle Trump wants to get into right now. He did signal, he wasn’t sure if he’s going to sign this, in part, because we are trying to negotiate this big deal on China with trade, he does support the people of Hong Kong. It certainly looks good for him right now in Hong Kong.”

Even Democratic strategist Leslie Marshall had good things to say about Trump for his decision, which was met by cheers and gratitude in the streets of Hong Kong on Thursday.

“Regardless of a trade deal, which this could hurt, I’m actually surprised the president came to the table, despite the fact you had unanimous approval in the Senate and only one Republican who didn’t in the House vote for this,” Marshall said. “You’re seeing not only do our elected politicians want this, but America wants this, and we had to do this. If we are going to ring the bell of freedom and democracy throughout the world, this is something as a leader and the leader of the free world the president had to do. I’m surprised he didn’t push back more and I’m glad that he did this.”

Watch the video above, via Fox News. 

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