Rep. Steve King (R-IA) said Saturday that he still stands by President Donald Trump despite POTUS’s agreement with Democrats to protect recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program from deportation.
During an interview with CNN’s Michael Smerconish, King discussed Trump’s announcement that he was working on a plan with Democrats to prevent the deportation of DACA recipients (undocumented immigrants brought into the country as children). Trump also said his border wall “would come later.”
Like many other anti-immigration hardliners, King had greeted the news with outrage, tweeting Wednesday that Trump’s base would be “blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair” and that “[n]o promise is credible.”
However, that doesn’t mean King himself, an early Trump supporter, has buyer’s remorse.
Presidents “do have a right to change their mind,” he told Smerconish.
Later in the interview, the CNN host asked King what he would do if Trump goes through with his agreement to save the people under the program he ended.
“Will you leave him, if this is the way it goes?” asked Smerconish.
“No. I’m gonna stick with President Trump for all the rest of his agenda and I’m gonna do everything I can to help him keep his campaign promises,” the Iowa representative said. “And by the way, it would be petulant to walk away from a President because you disagreed with him on a single issue.”
But throughout the interview, King emphasized how important immigration is to Trump’s base and warned that backtracking on it would be the one thing that would cause his base to abandon him.
“I’m asking the President to recall the commitments that he’s made, keep them so that he can keep his base,” he said. “I’m afraid that if there’s any one thing that would cause the Trump base to leave him, that is for him to grant amnesty in any kind of deal when it was such a strong campaign promise to end the unconstitutional DACA program.”
King has voiced his opposition to the program for years with harsh and sometimes inflammatory language about its recipients.
“For everyone who’s a valedictorian, there’s another 100 out there who weigh 130 pounds — and they’ve got calves the size of cantaloupes because they’re hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert,” King said in a 2013 interview with Newsmax.
H/t to the Hill.