The White House and Democratic leaders have come out of President Donald Trump’s Wednesday night dinner with Senate and House Minority Leaders Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) with conflicting accounts of how it went.
It started within a few hours of the dinner, when Pelosi and Schumer released this statement:
“We had a very productive meeting at the White House with the president. We agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.”
About an hour later, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders issued an official response denying that a deal had been made excluding the wall:
“While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.”
Trump further elaborated himself in some tweets on Thursday morning:
Trump followed up two hours later by briefly speaking to the press as he was about to get on Air Force One to fly to Florida and survey the damage caused by Hurricane Irma. With the plane's engines making it somewhat difficult to hear parts of his comments, he began by promising “massive border control” and saying that he's working on “a plan for DACA.”
“We're working a plan, we'll see how it works out, but we're going to get massive border security as part of that, and I think something can happen; we'll see what happens,” he continued.
As for the long-promised border wall, it appears that a DACA fix is being prioritized over that:
“The wall will come later, we're, right now, renovating large sections of wall, making it brand new...we're building four different samples of the wall, to see which one we're going to use. And the wall is going to be built, it'll be funded a little bit later.”
As the president was about to leave, he added that Senate and House Majority Leaders Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Paul Ryan (R-WI), who he says he spoke to, are “on board” with the DACA plans.
“Look, 92 percent of the people agree on DACA, but what we want is very, very powerful border security.” At that point, he told the press pool that he'll see them in Florida, and that was it for the gaggle.
A few minutes after the comments by Air Force One, Pelosi and Schumer released another statement, which argued that Trump's morning statements meshed with what he said in their meeting:
“President Trump's Tweets are not inconsistent with the agreement reached last night. As we said last night, there was no final deal, but there was agreement on the following:
We agreed that the President would support enshrining DACA protections into law, and encourage the House and Senate to act.
What remains to be negotiated arc the details of border security, with a mutual goal of finalizing all details as soon as possible. While both sides agreed that the wall would not be any part of this agreement, the President made clear he intends to pursue it at a later time, and we made clear we would continue to oppose it.
Both sides agreed that the White House and the Democratic leaders would work out a border security package. Possible proposals were discussed including new technology, drones, air support, sensor equipment, rebuilding roads along the border and the bipartisan McCaul-Thompson bill.”
Watch the Trump clip below, courtesy of CNN.