Durbin: Trump admin 'sandbagged' him on immigration deal

Story highlights

  • Durbin says Trump's advisers brought immigration opponents to the meeting
  • Trump has said he is open to comprehensive immigration reform

Washington (CNN)Sen. Dick Durbin says was he was "sandbagged" on a bipartisan immigration deal by President Donald Trump and his team when it was presented to the White House last week.

The Illinois Democrat told CNN's Jake Tapper in an exclusive sit-down interview that White House chief of staff John Kelly and White House adviser Stephen Miller "invited five other members of Congress who are not in favor of immigration reform, in a very harsh sense and they were there to refute any assertions ... that this was good policy."
The group was "called into the President's office to explain it to him and (found) that (they had) been sandbagged," Durbin said, adding that "any attempt to kill immigration reform probably has Mr. Miller's fingerprints on it."
    In the wake of Durbin's claim that Trump referred to certain African nations as "shithole countries" during the senators' meeting about the deal, Trump blamed Durbin for stalling immigration reform talks.
    "Senator Dicky Durbin totally misrepresented what was said at the DACA meeting. Deals can't get made when there is no trust! Durbin blew DACA and is hurting our Military," Trump tweeted Monday.
    Durbin called the events of the last two weeks "bizarre. "
    "He has said a lot of negative things about a lot of people and like I said earlier, this is not an easy business," he added.