President Donald Trump told a group of bipartisan lawmakers Tuesday he was joking when he says Democrats don’t want to help find an immigration fix.
“I actually think that we can go bipartisan on infrastructure, maybe even more so than we can on DACA. Because the difference is we want to help DACA, you don’t,” Trump said, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program currently being debated by Congress.
After some awkward laughs in the room, and a smile from Trump, he added: ” OK, I’m kidding. I’m sure you do.”
The quip came after Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, spoke about both working together on DACA and infrastructure.
Trump also discussed the about 200 investigations that he had asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to look into concerning trade deficits and steel and aluminum “dumping.”
Trump said that the overproduction rate in China is “destroying industry and families of workers” in the US.
“We have rebuilt China … with the money they have taken out of the United States,” the President said during the 50-minute-long meeting.
Trump emphasized that he doesn’t want the US to be relying on steel from a country that it might be fighting with in the future, framing it as a matter of national security.
Sens. Roy Blunt, R-Missouri, and Pat Toomey, R-Pennsylvania, were both cautious to say that they don’t want to start trade and tariff wars over steel and aluminum dumping issues.
“I would just urge us to go very, very cautiously here,” Toomey said.