White House: Trump not open to ‘Gang of Eight’ immigration bill

The White House on Thursday disputed reports that President Trump is open to considering a sweeping 2013 immigration bill that offered a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. 
Reports emerged Thursday that Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) told journalists on Capitol Hill that Trump told a bipartisan gathering of lawmakers he is receptive to the so-called Gang of Eight bill.
“He is open to reviewing the piece of legislation. He says, ‘Well, you’ve got to start working on it again.’ And I says, ‘Absolutely, we will,’ ” Manchin said of Trump, according to NBC News
But White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump does not support the Gang of Eight measure, adding he encouraged a group of senators to collaborate on a future immigration bill. 
“Earlier in the meeting he said specifically at one point the Gang of Eight bill is amnesty,” Spicer told a small group of reporters in his West Wing office. “Then he said, if you guys want to work on something, I’m willing to listen.”
If a bipartisan group of lawmakers produced a bill, Trump said, he “would be glad to look at it.”
{mosads}But when asked specifically if he opposes the Gang of Eight bill, Spicer said “yes.”
If Trump were to voice support for the 2013 bill, it would be a significant break with his hardline views on illegal immigration. 
Trump mocked one of the bill’s authors, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), repeatedly during the 2016 presidential primary. 
“Rubio is weak on illegal immigration, with the worst voting record in the U.S. Senate in many years. He will never MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” he tweeted last March. 
And Trump tapped one of the most vocal opponents of the legislation, then-Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), to serve as his attorney general. 
The 2013 bill would have given millions of immigrants living illegally in the U.S. the chance to apply for citizenship after paying a fine and back taxes. In exchange, it would have authorized a major buildup of border security measures along the U.S.-Mexico border. 
The measure, which was backed by former President Obama, passed the Senate but was never taken up by the House. 
Tags Jeff Sessions Joe Manchin Marco Rubio
See all Hill.TV See all Video