President Trump said Thursday he is “fairly close” to a deal with lawmakers to address young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children in exchange for “massive” border-security measures.
"We're working on a plan — subject to getting massive border controls,” he told reporters at the White House before leaving for a trip to Florida.
“We're working on a plan for DACA," he added, referring to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which he rescinded last week. "People want to see that happen.”
Trump suggested he would not demand funding for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border as part of the package.
"The wall will come later,” he said. “We’re right now renovating large sections of wall, massive sections, making it brand new.”
The president said that Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanJuan Williams: Pelosi shows her power Cheney takes shot at Trump: 'I like Republican presidents who win re-election' Cheney allies flock to her defense against Trump challenge MORE (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell backs Herschel Walker in Georgia Senate race The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats insist budget consensus close as talks drag on Manchin backs raising debt ceiling with reconciliation if GOP balks MORE (R-Ky.) are “very on board” with the proposal, adding that he discussed the plan with them over the phone.
Ryan's office, however, said immediately afterward that the Speaker "hasn't spoken" to the president since his dinner with Democratic leaders Wednesday night.
A White House spokesperson later told reporters, “The president spoke to McConnell and Ryan this morning."
Trump is seeking to clarify confusion surrounding what he agreed to during the dinner with Democratic congressional leaders.
After the meal, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerChuck Schumer535 'presidents' with veto power: Why budget deal remains elusive The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Democrats insist budget consensus close as talks drag on Pricing methane and carbon emissions will help US meet the climate moment MORE (D-N.Y.) announced they had agreed to work on a measure that would turn the DACA program into law.
Trump terminated the program last week. It offers deportation reprieves to hundreds of thousands of immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children and allows them to apply for work permits.
The president pushed back on the Democrats’ account of the meeting in a string of Thursday morning tweets.
“No deal was made last night on DACA,” he said on Twitter. “Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Wednesday night that "excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to."
The president changed his tone after Schumer and Pelosi said Trump’s tweets were “not inconsistent” with what they agreed to Wednesday night.
“We agreed that the President would support enshrining DACA protections into law, and encourage the House and Senate to act,” they said in a statement. “What remains to be negotiated are the details of border security, with a mutual goal of finalizing all details as soon as possible.
The leaders said “both sides agreed that the wall would not be any part of this agreement” but that the president would pursue it later and they would continue to oppose it.
Such a deal might rile Trump’s conservative base, which elected him on a promise to crack down on illegal immigration.
Responding to a shouted question later Thursday on whether he favors "amnesty," Trump shouted back, "The word is DACA."
--This report was updated at 11:02 a.m.