Reports: Trump May Offer Dems Concessions In Exchange For Wall Money

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 19: President Trump stops to speak to reporters as he prepared to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on January 19, 2019 in Washington, DC. Trump is traveling to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to visit with families four Americans who were killed in an explosion Wednesday in Syria. (Photo by Pete Marovich/Getty Images)
Pete Marovich/Getty Images North America

President Donald Trump may offer his support for certain Democratic policy goals in exchange for border wall funds during remarks from the White House Saturday, CNN and Axios reported Friday and Saturday, respectively.

The Associated Press, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal subsequently published similar reports.

Congressional Democrats have insisted that Trump reopen the government before any such negotiations, but according to the reports, Trump may offer the policy concessions in a statement from the White House Saturday afternoon, one that he hyped in a tweet Friday. The remarks, initially scheduled for 3 p.m. ET, have since been pushed back to 4 p.m.

Some Democrats responded to the reports by saying they wanted Trump to reopen government before any negotiations.

Trump’s Jan. 8 address from the Oval Office, which aired live in prime time on all major networks, contained little new information or potential paths out of the government shutdown he initiated with a last-minute call for billions in border wall funds.

Aspects of the reports clash somewhat: CNN reported, citing an unnamed senior administration official, that the plan to offer Democrats certain concessions in exchange for border wall money “is not based on negotiations with Democrats,” in the network’s words.

Axios, citing unnamed White House officials, reported that the planned concessions were the result of discussions between White House adviser Jared Kushner, Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) but added, in the website’s words: “McConnell did not try to write the bill for them; this bill is the culmination of Kushner and Pence’s conversations with some Democrats and an inventory of proposals they discussed.”

CNN did not report on any specifics of what Trump might offer. Axios reported that Trump would offer temporary deportation relief for undocumented people otherwise eligible for the DACA program and the extension of legal status for those with Temporary Protected Status. The Trump administration has sought to end DACA and TPS, in the latter case for a large portion of the individuals protected by the designation.

In exchange, per Axios, Trump will again demand $5.7 billion in funds to construct a border wall.

This post has been updated.

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