Trump On DACA Deal With Congress: ‘The Wall Will Come Later’

Andrew Harnik/AP

President Donald Trump on Thursday morning appeared to confirm Democratic leaders’ claims that Trump will not demand that funding for the border wall be included in legislation restoring the protections of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

“The wall will come later,” Trump told reporters when asked about a deal on DACA before boarding Air Force One to travel to Florida. “The wall is going to be built and it’ll be funded a little bit later.”

The President confirmed that he’s working on a plan with Congress to restore DACA.

“We are working on a plan for DACA. People want to see that happen. You have 800,000 young people brought here, no fault of their own, so we’re working on a plan. We’ll see how it works out. We are going to get massive border security as part of that. And I think something can happen. We’ll see what happens, but something will happen,” he told reporters.

He noted that he spoke with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) about a deal Wednesday night.

“We want to get massive border security, and I think both Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, I think they will agree,” he said. “I think we are fairly close, but we have to get massive border security.”

Trump said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) are “on board.”

“Ryan and McConnell agree with us on DACA. We are very much on board. I spoke to them, yes,” Trump told reporters as they shouted questions.

Trump’s comments follow conflicting accounts from Democratic leaders and the White House from the President’s Wednesday night dinner with Schumer and Pelosi. The Democratic leaders issued a statement claiming that they were working on a deal for DACA legislation with Trump, and that funding for the border wall would not be included. However, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday night that Trump did not take border wall funding off the table.

Around the same time Trump spoke to White House reporters Thursday morning, Schumer and Pelosi issued another joint statement reiterating that Trump did not demand that funding for the border wall be included in the bill. The Democratic leaders said that they have not yet reached a final deal with Trump, but a tentative agreement, adding that they still need to work out which border security measures could be included in the bill.

“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,” Schumer and Pelosi said in a statement.

“What remains to be negotiated are 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,” they added. “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.”

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