Schumer says he offered to discuss border wall as part of Trump deal

Greg Nash

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said early Saturday that he agreed to discuss the U.S.-Mexico border wall as part of negotiations with President Trump, but wasn’t able to win him over.

“During the meeting, in exchange for strong [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] protections, I reluctantly put the border wall on the table for the discussion. Even that was not enough to entice the president to finish the deal,” Schumer said from the Senate floor. 

Schumer and Trump met at the White House earlier in the day Friday to talk about a potential deal ahead of the midnight deadline.


Schumer said early Saturday morning that the two had a “lengthy and substantive discussion,” and Trump appeared to be on board during their meeting. 

“In my heart, I thought we might have a deal tonight. That was how far we had come. That’s how positive our discussion felt. We had a good meeting,” he said.

Schumer’s floor speech comes after Democrats emerged from a closed-door caucus meeting on Friday evening, claiming that the two men had been close to a deal but the president balked.

A Senate aide confirmed that Trump had walked away from a potential deal.

Trump has long championed building a wall along the United States’s southern border, while Democrats have sharply criticized his policies aimed at combatting illegal immigration.

Republicans on Capitol Hill have signaled they will not move an immigration bill if it doesn’t have Trump’s support.

Schumer argued that Trump, despite appearing supportive of the outlined deal, provided no guidance to Republicans on Capitol Hill. 

“He did not press his party in Congress to accept it. Speaker [Paul] Ryan [R-Wis.] and Leader [Mitch] McConnell [R-Ky.], without the commitment of the president, would not agree to accept anything either,” he said.

Schumer argued that Trump should call a meeting with congressional leadership as soon as Saturday

Tags Charles Schumer Donald Trump
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