Republican officials were left unsatisfied with answers from Jared KushnerJared Corey KushnerTrump attacks Meghan McCain and her family McCain: Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner had 'no goddamn business' attending father's funeral Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE to some of their questions regarding the White House's immigration plan, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday.
While Republican senators publicly applauded the administration’s proposal to move the immigration system toward one that prioritizes highly skilled workers, GOP officials told the Post that Kushner did not have answers to some of their questions and that Stephen MillerStephen MillerTrump Defense chief blocked idea to send 250,000 troops to border: report Dave Chappelle refuses to be cancelled White House orders release of Trump records to Jan. 6 committee MORE, an immigration hawk and another senior adviser, had to step in at times.
“He’s in his own little world,” one source familiar with the discussion in the meeting told the Post. “He didn’t give many details about what was in [his plan]. ... And there were a number of instances where people had to step in and answer questions because he couldn’t.”
A senior White House official disputed the Republican officials’ characterization, saying that Kushner, Miller and senior economic adviser Kevin Hassett presented the plan as a team.
“This is a detailed proposal that we can unify Republicans around,” the official told the Post. “That gives us a much stronger position to then discuss other things.”
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.
A Kushner ally later slammed the Post story as “nonsense” and one of the authors of the piece said a senior administration official said the report had “kind of a bitchy tone.”
This is nonsense. Jared had the whole team present together to show the republican senators the WH is unified on the proposal. This has been a full team effort. https://t.co/BOLQckDEjh— Avi Berkowitz (@AviBerkow) May 14, 2019
At one point during Tuesday’s meeting Kushner reportedly confounded the Republican senators by saying that his plan would not address the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which protects certain immigrants who came to the country illegally as children and would be necessary for attracting support from Democrats.
“I am concerned about the fate of the DACA young people, and they cannot be excluded from any immigration package,” Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsFunding for victims of 'Havana syndrome' to be included in Pentagon bill The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Biden makes his pitch as tax questions mount Emanuel defends handling of Chicago police shooting amid opposition to nomination MORE (R-Maine) said.
Kushner also left senators wondering what he meant when he said the plan would prioritize unifying immigrant families, including mothers and children. He also reportedly did not have an answer when asked how his proposition would deal with undocumented immigrants already in the U.S.
Kushner said in the meeting that his proposal would create a merit-based immigration system and that immigrants would have to pass a civics test before entering the country, adding that the president would soon give a speech on the issue.