Republican Hill leaders on DACA: 'There's no agreement'

Trump 'fairly close' to a DACA deal with Dems
Trump 'fairly close' to a DACA deal with Dems

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Trump 'fairly close' to a DACA deal with Dems 01:00

Story highlights

  • President Donald Trump spoke with Democratic leader about immigration Wednesday
  • Democrats suggested an agreement had been met though no deal was finalized
  • WH meeting "was a discussion, not an agreement or a negotiation"

Washington (CNN)Republican leaders in Congress were cautious Thursday morning to avoid admonishing their President for negotiating with Democrats, maintaining there's not yet a deal on immigration -- a sensitive political issue that has divided the GOP for decades.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Trump's meeting with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday night "was a discussion, not an agreement or a negotiation."
"First off, there's no agreement," the Wisconsin Republican said. "The President and the chief of staff called me from Air Force One today, to discuss what was discussed -- and it was a discussion, not an agreement or a negotiation."
    Ryan said he's going to continue discussing with his fellow Republicans to find a proposal they can get behind.
    "So what we're going to do is get our consensus, and we're having the conversations with our members right now," Ryan said. "While we negotiate a compromise -- which, there will be a compromise, we believe this will occur. And this compromise will include border security and enforcement so that we don't wind up with another DACA problem 10 years down the road."
    Reports from the dinner revealed that Trump had spoken candidly with Democrats about the path forward to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program recipients, a program that Trump said would end after six months. Democrats said in a statement after the dinner that Trump had agreed to protect DACA recipients in exchange for border security. The border wall, however, would not be part of those negotiations. Trump's team pushed back on the characterization arguing that no deal had been struck.
    The confusion put Republican leaders in a precarious position. After waiting eight years for a Republican to be elected to the White House, Trump was negotiating with Democrats without Republicans even in the room.
    • September 13, 2017

    • 7 p.m. ET
      Trump hosts a dinner with Schumer, Pelosi and other Democrats
    • 9:28 p.m. ET
      White House says border security, DACA were among dinner topics

      The press pool reports that a White House official said, "President Donald Trump had a constructive working dinner with Senate and House Minority Leaders, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi as well as administration officials to discuss policy and legislative priorities. These topics included tax reform, border security, DACA, infrastructure and trade. This is a positive step toward the President's strong commitment to bipartisan solutions for the issues most important to all Americans. The administration looks forward to continuing these conversations with leadership on both sides of the aisle."

    • 9:45 p.m. ET
      Schumer and Pelosi confirm working with Trump

      Schumer and Pelosi say in a joint statement, "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."

    • 9:55 p.m. ET
    • 10:21 p.m. ET
    • 10:32 p.m. ET
    • September 14, 2017

    • 6:11 a.m. ET
    • 6:20 a.m. ET
    • 6:28 a.m. ET
    • 6:35 a.m. ET
    • 8:23 a.m. ET
      Schumer and Pelosi confirm Trump's tweets

      Schumer and Pelosi say, "President Trump's tweets are not inconsistent with the agreement reached last night."

    • 8:31 a.m. ET
      "The wall will come later."

      Trump told reporters as he departed the White House for Florida that "the wall will come later."

    • ~10:17 a.m. ET
      Amnesty not on the table

      White House deputy press secretary Lindsay Walters aboard Air Force One: "The Trump administration will not be discussing amnesty. What the Trump administration will discuss is a responsible path forward in immigration reform, that could include legal citizenship over a period of time." and "There was no deal made."

    • ~10:50 a.m. ET
      Trump says no citizenship or amnesty but allowing people to stay

      Trump, in Florida to view damage from Hurricane Irma: "We are not looking at citizenship. We are not looking at amnesty. We are looking at allowing people to stay here. We are working with everybody." He added: "If we don't have the wall, we are doing nothing."

    • 10:51 a.m. ET
      Trump says Paul Ryan agrees with Trump's plan

      Trump: "I just spoke to Paul Ryan. He's on board."

    • 11:37 a.m. ET
      Sen. McConnell stays neutral

      Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell avoids saying he's on board with Trump's plan, simply saying, "We look forward to receiving the Trump administration's legislative proposal as we continue our work on these issues."

    • 12:22 p.m. ET
      Ryan calls the talks just a discussion
    Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican, said Democrats misinterpreted what they got out of the meeting.
    "As vigorous as the Democrats were, they were evidently wrong in their interpretation of the meeting, which obviously I'm happy for," Grassley said.
    Ryan said it's "right and proper" for Trump to meet with Democrats, but that he had been speaking to the President about DACA for weeks.
    "You cannot fix DACA without fixing the root cause of our problem," Ryan said. "We do not have control of our borders. So we need border security and enforcement as part of any agreement. I think that's something the Democrats are beginning to understand. I think that's something that they are beginning to agree with.
    In brief comments to reporters Thursday morning, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said that he would wait until he heard all that happened t the dinner meeting between Trump and Pelosi and Schumer.
    "He's President," McCarthy said. "He can meet with anybody."
    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell issued a vague statement Thursday morning promising to continue to work on the issue of DACA and border security.
    "As Congress debates the best ways to address illegal immigration through strong border security and interior enforcement, DACA should be part of those discussions," McConnell said. "We look forward to receiving the Trump administration's legislative proposal as we continue to work on these issues."
    Sen. John Cornyn, the Republican whip in the chamber, told reporters that what he's heard so far sounds like a "deal to make a deal."
    "There is no deal currently made. And, of course, there are 535 members of Congress who will take part -- part of this conversation, and I know people have a lot of interest in discussing it. But, for myself, I believe that there is a solution, but it has to start with border security and enforcing our immigration laws.