Trump says he’s ‘fairly close’ to deal

Schumer, Pelosi agreed to ‘en­shrine the pro­tec­tions of DACA into law quickly’


President Don­ald Trump on Thurs­day said he was “fairly close” to a deal with con­gres­sional lead­ers to pre­serve pro­tec­tions for young im­mi­grants liv­ing il­le­gally in Amer­ica, and is in­sist­ing on “mas­sive bor­der se­cu­rity” as part of any agree­ment.

Trump, speak­ing to re­porters be­fore sur­vey­ing hur­ri­cane dam­age in Florida, pushed back against Demo­cratic lead­ers who claimed there was a deal on the De­ferred Ac­tion for Child­hood Ar­rivals (DACA) ini­tia­tive. He also said his promised wall along the U.S.-Mex­ico bor­der would “come later.”

“We’re work­ing on a plan sub­ject to get­ting mas­sive bor­der controls. We’re work­ing on a plan for DACA. Peo­ple want to see that hap­pen,” Trump said. He added: “‘I think we’re fairly close but we have to get mas­sive bor­der se­cu­rity.”

Trump, in a se­ries of early morn­ing tweets, had con­tra­dicted the char­ac­ter­i­za­tion of a pri­vate White House din­ner on Wed­nes­day night by his guests, Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Rep. Nancy Pelosi of Cal­i­for­nia, the top Democrats on Capi­tol Hill. Trump de­nied there was a deal.

Schumer and Pelosi said in a state­ment af­ter that get-to­gether that they had agreed to “en­shrine the pro­tec­tions of DACA into law quickly” and to work out a pack­age on bor­der se­cu­rity, ex­clud­ing Trump’s planned bor­der wall.

Not so, shot back White House press sec­re­tary Sarah Huck­abee San­ders, who said that “while DACA and bor­der se­cu­rity were both dis­cussed, ex­clud­ing the wall was cer­tainly not agreed to.”

Trump’s tweets prompted a fresh re­sponse from Schumer and Pelosi, who said his words were “not in­con­sis­tent with the agree­ment reached last night,” and that while there was “no fi­nal deal,” the president had said he would “sup­port en­shrin­ing DACA pro­tec­tions into law, and en­cour­age the House and Se­nate to act.”

They said in a state­ment that the de­tails on bor­der se­cu­rity needed to be ne­go­ti­ated, that both sides agreed “the wall would not be any part of this agree­ment” and that Trump said he would pur­sue the wall later.

And soon af­ter, Trump ap­peared to con­firm that ap­proach.

“The wall will come later, we’re right now ren­o­vat­ing large sec­tions of wall, mas­sive sec­tions, mak­ing it brand new,” he told re­porters be­fore his Florida trip.

He also said Repub­li­can con­gres­sional lead­ers, House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wis­con­sin and Se­nate Ma­jor­ity Leader Mitch McCon­nell of Ken­tucky favoured his ap­proach on the im­mi­gra­tion pro­gram.

“Ryan and McCon­nell agree with us on DACA,” Trump said, adding that he had spo­ken to them by tele­phone.

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