WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday denied an assertion by the Democratic leaders in Congress that they had an agreement to preserve protections for young immigrants living illegally in America and to bolster U.S.-Mexico border security, but without his coveted wall for now.
“No deal was made last night on DACA,” Trump said in an early morning tweet about the program put in place under the Obama administration program.
“Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote,” Trump said in a series of tweets about the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals initiative.
Trump 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.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also pushed back against the Schumer-Pelosi statement embracing the claim of a deal, saying, “While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.”
It was a head-snapping turn of events for a president inclined recently to turn to Democrats to jump-start legislative imperatives. Only days ago, Trump and the Democratic leaders agreed to back a three-month extension of the debt limit in order to speed hurricane assistance.
“The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built,” Trump tweeted.
At the same time, he expressed sympathy for the hundreds of thousands of younger immigrants vulnerable to deportation even though they were brought to the United States as toddlers or children. He had announced last week that his administration was rescinding the program and gave Congress six months to come up with a legislative fix.
“Does anybody really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people who have jobs, some serving in the military, really?” Trump wrote. “They have been in our country for many years through no fault of their own – brought in by parents at a young age. Plus BIG border security.”
In their statement, Schumer and Pelosi said: “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.”
Separately, Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill had said after the White House dinner “the president was clear he would press for the…