Sep 13, 2017

Schumer, Pelosi say Trump agreed to replace DACA without wall

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

After dining with President Trump at the White House, Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi released a joint statement saying the president had agreed to a legislative replacement for DACA along with border security funding and, crucially, without funding for the wall.

Our thought bubble: If it's accurate, and Trump plans to enshrine DACA into law without funding the wall, he is risking a revolt from elements in his base. Many of his most hardcore supporters voted for him based on his hardline immigration policies. This plan is Jeb Bush/Marco Rubio territory — it's not the Donald Trump they voted for.

The post-dinner posturing

  • First, the White House released a statement that did not mention any deal.
  • Next the Schumer/Pelosi 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."
  • Then, from Sarah Sanders: "While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to."
  • Response from Schumer spokesman Matt House: "The President made clear he would continue pushing the wall, just not as part of this agreement."

From a source close to Trump: "Part of Donald Trump's communications genius is that he understands the power of grand symbols. He wanted the country to know he wasn't standing for bad deals anymore, so he renegotiated the contracts for Air Force One and the F-35. People got it. He wanted the country to know he was bringing companies back, so he personally got on the phone with Carrier in Indiana. People got it. There's no bigger symbol than the wall. It's bigger than immigration, it represents his entire presidency. Whether he builds it or not will determine whether the country views him as a success or failure, and likely whether he's a one-term or two-term president."

Worth noting: Sanders said earlier Wednesday that it wasn't necessary for Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell to attend the meeting, because Trump is the leader of the party.


Go deeper