Sanders: Trump 'didn't lie' when he tweeted he never supported immigration bill he urged Republicans to pass

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday disputed that President TrumpDonald TrumpRonny Jackson, former White House doctor, predicts Biden will resign McCarthy: Pelosi appointing members of Jan. 6 panel who share 'pre-conceived narrative' Kinzinger denounces 'lies and conspiracy theories' while accepting spot on Jan. 6 panel MORE lied when he claimed he never pushed Republicans to back an immigration bill that he urged them to support days earlier.

Sanders was asked at Monday’s press briefing about Trump’s tweet on Saturday, which stood in direct contradiction to a Wednesday tweet that stated, in all caps, “House Republicans should pass the strong but fair immigration bill, known as Goodlatte II.”

“Why would the president lie about something like that?” Matt Nussbaum of Politico asked.


“He didn’t,” Sanders responded. “The president has talked all along, we’ve laid out the priorities and the principles that we support, that we wanted to see reflected in legislation.” 

“But at the same time the president wasn’t aggressively lobbying members, because he knew that democrats in the Senate still were unwilling to actually come to the table,” she continued.

Sanders pinned blame for the issue on Democrats, arguing that opposition from Democratic senators rendered legislation in the House meaningless. 

“We could’ve gotten it through the House, but that doesn’t work if we can’t get it through Senate,” Sanders said.

“Frankly, I think it’s outrageous that Democrats have not come to the table and tried to help fix this problem,” she added.

The House rejected two GOP-crafted immigration bills in the past two weeks, with some Republicans opposing each bill. A compromise bill, known as Goodlatte II, failed in a 300-121 vote last week.

A more hard-line measure failed by a 231-193 vote the week before.

President Trump sent mixed signals to GOP lawmakers ahead of each vote. He initially met with House Republicans privately to tell them he was "1,000 percent" behind them on the issue.

The day after the failed vote on the hard-line bill, Trump tweeted that Republicans should "stop wasting their time on Immigration until after we elect more Senators and Congressmen/women in November."

He offered support the day of the vote on Goodlatte II, saying Republicans should pass the bill in the House, "even though the Dems won't let it pass in the Senate."

On Saturday, the president claimed he did not push either bill, even as the tweet from days earlier remained on his Twitter page.