So is there is a deal between President Trump and Democrats to protect "Dreamers" or not? Based on Thursday's confusion, the answer apparently boils down to semantics, observes Politico. But this much is clear: Trump and Democrats are close enough that the president's right-wing base is furious. The details:
- Background: Democrats including Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer had dinner with Trump Wednesday and emerged to say they'd reached an agreement to "enshrine the protections of DACA into law" in exchange for border security improvements, excluding Trump's border wall. Trump followed that up with early morning tweets saying that no final deal had been reached. (The Washington Post parses his tweets and sees some "non-denial denials" at play, while Pelosi and Schumer said Trump's tweets "are not inconsistent with the agreement reached last night.")
- Trump elaborates: After his tweets, Trump spoke to reporters and said he was "fairly close" to a deal on DACA with lawmakers tied to "massive border security." He added that the "wall will come later," adding that GOP leaders Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell were "on board."
- More elaboration: "We're not looking at citizenship," Trump said during a trip to Florida, per the Hill. "We're not looking at amnesty. We're looking at allowing people to stay here." He added that "we have to have an understanding that, whether it's in the budget or some other vehicle, in a fairly short period of time, the wall will be funded. Otherwise, we're not doing anything," per the AP.
- Coulter, et al.: The president's later comments appeared to be an attempt to soothe anger on the right that emerged upon news of his talks with Democrats. One slam getting much attention is from Ann Coulter, formerly a huge supporter of Trump, who tweeted, "At this point, who DOESN'T want Trump impeached?" And at one point, Breitbart News ran an "Amnesty Don" banner over its coverage. The Hill rounds up criticism from others, including Steve King.
- Ryan caution: The House speaker didn't sound quite as "on board" as Trump suggested, saying at a news conference that any deal must be approved by the GOP-controlled Congress, reports the Washington Post: "I think the president understands he has to work with the congressional majorities to get any kind of legislative solution."
- Silver lining for GOP? The Wall Street Journal digs into how Trump's willingness to reach out to Democrats has "muddled the political calculus" on Capitol Hill. But the story notes that a quick deal on immigration and DACA might get the divisive issue out of voters' minds before the midterms.
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