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White House Press Briefing; President Trump's Position on DACA Unclear. Aired 3-3:30p ET

Aired January 9, 2018 - 15:00   ET



SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: They all agreed at the conclusion of the meeting to narrow the scope and the focus to.

They all agreed that those four things would be part of the negotiation. And beyond that, then they could move into additional scope. But at this point, those are the four things on the table, and the four things that we anticipate that they'll be negotiating.

QUESTION: Those Four things are phase one in the president's respect?

SANDERS: Correct.

QUESTION: And are they tied to January 19th or March 5th?

SANDERS: (Inaudible) outline the date, and I'm certainly not going to negotiate what that date looks like from the podium. That's something we're going to work with Congress on. But those are the four areas that they all agreed at the conclusion of the meeting to narrow the scope and the focus to.


QUESTION: How confident are you that those four things will remain part of phase one of this process? Senator Dianne Feinstein posited the idea of doing a clean DACA bill, which the president had first seemed to embrace before ...

SANDERS: Only if -- he embraced -- only if you look at what the president's definition of a clean DACA bill is. And within that bill, he thinks that you have to include not just fixing the -- not just fixing DACA, but closing the loopholes and making sure we have a solution on that front, so we don't create a problem and find ourselves right back where we started in one, two, three years later.

QUESTION: Which is -- which is clearly different than her perspective on a clean DACA bill, because she clearly stated that she thinks they should do a clean DACA bill, just handle the Dreamers, and then handle border security as part of comprehensive immigration reform.

SANDERS: The problem...

QUESTION: So is the president setting himself up here for a battle where the Democrats are going to say no, let's just do DACA, and he's on the other side, and then there's no coming together ...

SANDERS: I think the president is setting himself up to achieve what everybody in that room agreed they wanted to see happen, and that is a deal on DACA, a deal on border security, talking about chain migration and visa lottery. That's where we are in this process. Those are the four principles.


QUESTION: Thanks, Sarah. Two quick questions if I may. The Democrats said after the meeting they support border security measures and that their understanding is the President uses the term "wall" and "border security" interchangeably.

Is that true?

SANDERS: We certainly believe that the wall is part of border security. That's one component of it. We firmly, again, believe that border security has to be part of this negotiation and part of this deal.

QUESTION: So then if -- and just very quickly, is there any update from the White House on the process of deciding if and if so how bump stocks should be regulated? I believe we haven't touched on that in a while.

SANDERS: Yeah, I know that was something that the ATF was doing a full review on, and we anticipate the results of that to come back, and we'll certainly make a decision once that's been done. But the Department of Justice asked that that take place.

Blake (ph)?

QUESTION: Sarah, thank you.

During that meeting the President also talked about earmarks, saying essentially it could lower the hostility here in DC and lead to both sides coming together. But is he not concerned also that it could also lead to runaway spending?

SANDERS: Look, the president said you have to be careful with that, and you have to have controls on earmarks. The broader point the president was making is that partisan politics have become a big problem in Washington.

We've gotten to a place where Democrats and Republicans are fighting more than they're fixing. And he wants to find different ways to bring more and more Democrats and Republicans to work together on legislation, to move our country forward.

And he threw that out as one suggestion on how we might be able to do that.

QUESTION: On DACA, Sarah, I -- is the President expected to -- or is he planning on making this an annual event, him going to Davos, and do you have any details on what days -- I believe it's a four-day event, when he might actually go?

SANDERS: We're still finalizing the details on exactly when the president will be there. We don't have any commitments beyond this year at this point. But, as we said earlier today in a statement, the president will attend and he welcomes the opportunity to go there and advance his America first agenda with world leaders.

SANDERS: And he is very much looking forward to being part of that process.


QUESTION: Thanks, Sarah.

I have a question (inaudible), but also on Davos. During the campaign, the Trump campaign, the decision not to go was a concern at the time, was that -- this was viewed by some as a gathering of global elite, and that wasn't the president's campaign message or message to his base.

And obviously you guys have -- your thinking on this has evolved a little bit about who's the message for and what message are you going to do, but is this -- has his thinking on ...

SANDERS: Our thinking hasn't changed at all, just to be extremely clear. The president's message is very much the same here as it will be there, just the same as it was here as it was when he made many stops in Asia.

This is very much an America first agenda. The president is still 100 percent focused and committed to promoting policies that promote strength for American businesses and the American worker. And that's going to be the same whether he's in the U.S. or any other place.

QUESTION: We wanted to ask also is, do you have a fuller picture of that U.S. delegation that you could share with us at this -- at this time?

SANDERS: We're finalizing the details, but you can expect that a number of senior members of the Cabinet and administration will be part of this event. Some will stay for a more extended period of time than the president.

QUESTION: (Inaudible) Leaders to finalize while he is there ...

SANDERS: Again, we're finalizing the details of the trip. As all those things are locked in, we'll certainly make sure you guys are well aware.

Cecilia (ph)?

QUESTION: Thanks, Sarah.

Ivanka Trump praised on Twitter Oprah pretty effusively. She said, let's all come together, women and men, say time's up. Is that the message from this White House, this support of this "time's up" movement?

SANDERS: Look, I think the message from the White House is obviously that everyone should come together. I think you saw a great example of the President's focus on that and his leadership in that effort by bringing Democrats and Republicans together to talk about a very contentious issue, one that has gone on for years. The debate has never ended in real solutions. We are trying to move that forward, whether it's on immigration or a number of other issues. We think the president's showing his leadership on that front, and we're going to continue to look for ways to bring the country together.

QUESTION: Had you been on the campaign of a political outsider, what advice would you give a political outsider like Oprah, who seems intrigued about the idea of running?

SANDERS: I'm not going to focus on anyone's campaign other than President Trump's reelection. I'm sure she -- if she decides to run, which I think the president states he doesn't feel she will, I'm sure she'll have help with that.

QUESTION: Is she qualified?

SANDERS: Look, I -- I disagree very much on her policies. Is she a successful individual? Absolutely. But in terms of where she stands on a number of positions, I would find a lot of problems with that.

But that would be something she would have to determine and lay out if she made a decision to run and what that campaign would look like.


QUESTION: Can I ask just a question about phase two of the immigration issue, as the president laid it out today.

So once you get past the DACA debate and some of these other issues, Senator Lindsey Graham seems to lay on the table the idea of something that Senator Graham supports, which is a comprehensive plan that would include a path to citizenship for all the 11 million or 12 million, however many you count them, people who are illegally in this country. And the president seemed to respond, well, let's do it, let's go for it, something along those lines.

So are we to then take away that the president is firmly committed to a path of citizenship -- to try to get to a path of citizenship for all 11 million illegal immigrants in the country once -- once phase two comes?

SANDERS: Right now our -- our focus is on the four things that I laid out. That's where our negotiation is, and that's phase one.


SANDERS: And that's our -- hold on -- that's our focus and our priority. We're certainly open to talking about a number of other issues when it comes to immigration.

SANDERS: But right now, this administration is focused on those four things, and that negotiation and not a lot else at this front.

Zeke (ph)?

QUESTION: Thanks, Sarah. Ask you real quick -- (inaudible) news came out that the North Koreans will be sending a delegate to the Olympics in South Korea. Does the White House have any -- have any response to that, and will it have any impact on American participation in the games, firstly? And then secondly, just comment on (inaudible).

SANDERS: Let me start with the first thing. In terms of, it doesn't affect the U.S. participation in the Olympics. The North Korean participation is an opportunity for the regime to see the value of ending its international isolation by denuclearizing. We hope that we can continue to move forward on that front, but certainly doesn't affect our participation.

QUESTION: (inaudible) delegation soon?

SANDERS: Yes, we do, and that'll happen probably in the coming days, and we'll make sure, again, we keep all of you guys, certainly, in the loop.

QUESTION: (inaudible) Joe Arpaio (inaudible). The president obviously pardoned him. Is the White House supportive of his candidacy to the present (inaudible) campaign going on?

SANDERS: As you know, I can't comment on the specifics of any election, voicing support for a candidate in a race like that.

QUESTION: Does the president think it's appropriate for somebody who's been pardoned for a crime to run for...

SANDERS: I'm not going to weigh in to the details of that race, or make comments (inaudible) that would affect that front. Steve (ph)?

QUESTION: Thanks, Sarah. Just to take another stab at -- at Michael's (ph) question, can you help us understand the terms the president used today. What does comprehensive immigration reform mean to this White House?

SANDERS: Again, our focus, like I told Michael, is those four priorities: border security, ending chain migration, ending the visa lottery system, and coming up with a permanent solution to DACA. That's where we're focused, and that's what we're going to be committed to during this negotiation process.

QUESTION: In as much as the president today seemed to say, "OK, let's go on to comprehensive immigration reform." The afternoon, (inaudible)...

SANDERS: As he said, once we get through this process, he said, "Let's -- let's get this deal done, and then we'll take an hour off, and then we'll move on to the next phase of the negotiation." Right now, this administration is focused on those things, and making sure we get that deal done, and we'll move forward from that point. Jessica (ph)?

QUESTION: So has the president not decided what comprehensive immigration reform means to him?

SANDERS: Look, I'm not going to negotiate with you from the podium. This is something that the leadership agreed to, primarily led by Kevin McCarthy and the president in this meeting; that this would be the focus coming out of today. Let's get a deal on this, and then we'll move forward and talk about other things. Jessica (ph)?

QUESTION: Thank you, Sarah. On trade, there's a meeting of trade officials, I understand, at the White House today concerning the trade agenda for 2018. What is -- how much will trade (inaudible) action, particularly against China, be part of the Trump administration agenda this year?

SANDERS: Look, we're going to continue to push for making sure we have the best deals possible -- certainly deals that benefit the American worker, and we have specifics on that, following meetings that take place. We'll keep you guys aware, but our position is going to be to continue to fight for, and push for better trade deals that benefit this country, and American workers. Jordan (ph)?

QUESTION: On North Korea, if you can just clarify on the delegation we're sending. Are -- are Jared and Ivanka going?

SANDERS: I -- I didn't actually announce the delegation. I said that we would have that announcement in the coming days, and that will be when we release the names of who's attending. Jordan (ph)?

QUESTION: Thanks, Sarah. It's -- it's pretty unusual for us in the press corps to have a -- a front-row seat to those kind of negotiations in the -- in the cabinet (ph) room...

SANDERS: Lucky you.

QUESTION: ... for about an hour. Whose decision was it to allow the press in to witness that entire negotiation, and what was the goal of having us sit there and watch?

SANDERS: Just to be clear, you weren't there for the entire negotiation, because the deal didn't take place until after you guys left. But I think a number of individuals in the room felt it was a good thing to let you see the cooperation, and the conversation between both sides, and see how we're working, and leading to move the ball down the field, and come up with some real solutions. John (ph)?

QUESTION: Yeah, thank you, Sarah. Going back to the wall, last summer, Governor Graco (ph), the head of the Mexican Governors Association, said that when the president started talking about a price tag on building the wall, that meant he'd given up on his idea of making Mexico pay for it.

Now, in his remarks in Tennessee and in his recent speeches, the president has talked about the cost of the wall, and there's been no mention of his standard phrase, "And Mexico will pay for it."

Has the president abandoned the idea of Mexico paying for the wall?

SANDERS: No, he hasn't.

Phil (ph)?

QUESTION: Thank you, Sarah.

On trade again; on the (inaudible) at the end of -- of January in Montreal, listening to the president in Tennessee yesterday, is he more hopeful? Does he still plan on scrapping the deal if he can't get everything he wants?

SANDERS: Look, the president, as we've said many times before, wants to make sure that we have a deal that benefits America and American workers. And we're going to continue through that process and make sure that whatever we do, we get the best deal possible.

QUESTION: Is he a little more hopeful than he was six months ago?

SANDERS: Look, I think the president's always been hopeful that we can get a better deal. I think that's why he ran for president, is to make sure that he's pushing an agenda that helps Americans, and particularly helps American workers. And he's hoping to close a lot of those trade deficits and get rid of some of the bad trade deals that we've had in the past.

Oliviet (ph)?

QUESTION: Thanks, Sarah.

Sarah, when the president declined to certify the Iran nuclear deal was in the U.S. national interest a couple months ago, he said he needed to see action in Congress and from American allies.

Has he seen enough of that action? Senator Corker's under the impression that it's possible that there has been enough progress on the legislative picks at least, that the president might be willing to not reimpose sanctions.

SANDERS: We haven't -- we haven't made a final decision on that and we certainly will in the coming days, and we'll make sure, once again, you guys are some of the first to know.


QUESTION: Sarah, just to be clear; if the president wants a "bill of love", why doesn't he drop the demand for a border wall and deal with the DREAMers alone?

SANDERS: Because you have to have a full solution to this problem. You have to make sure that you're taking every step in border security, and you want to make sure that if you fix things on DACA, you don't create and exacerbate the problem and have to deal with it again in a year.

The president wants to make sure we have a clean solution to that front, and that's what we're going to do. QUESTION: So what does the president say to a young man, like 24 year old Jesus Contreras, he's from Houston, he's a paramedic, he's been working hard in this country to help make other lives better, who are now waiting for Congress to come up with something or they may get shipped to a country they've never known?

SANDERS: He says exactly what he just did in that room. Let's work together. Let's figure this out. I'm leading on this effort and bringing all the members that need to be part of the conversation to the table.

And he said that he was confident that they would come together and get it done. And so that's what we're going to do.

QUESTION: Just to clarify on that last night, only because it made so...


SANDERS: I'm going to keep moving because we're going to be short on time.

Clarence (ph), go ahead.

QUESTION: Sarah the -- over the holidays, the president terminated the tenure of the members of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS.

Does the president want to see those positions refilled in his administration?

SANDERS: We're looking at the different options and we'll keep you posted if we have an announcement on that front.


QUESTION: Is he going to add any stops to the Dallas trip, and is he actually going to address the group there?

SANDERS: There aren't any plans for additional stops. And we'll keep you posted on all the details of the schedule.

Trey (ph)?

QUESTION: Thanks, Sarah.

Two questions for you. First, does the White House have any reaction to the testimony that was released today by Senator Feinstein's office regarding the Fusion GPS dossier?

SANDERS: I haven't had any conversations with anybody specific to that front, so.

QUESTION: If I could follow up on the immigration meeting today.

Is the president concerned about the differences that Democrats and Republicans have when it comes to defining phrases like border security?

SANDERS: They have a lot of things that they agree on. And that's what we're going to focus on. But again, I'm not going to negotiate with you guys. Look, I've laid out what the principals and the priorities are, and what all of the individuals in the meeting today agreed to narrow the scope to, and that's what we're going to continue to push for.


QUESTION: Oh, thank you, Sarah.

First of all, on border security, we're hearing a lot about immigration, how big of a role does drug trafficking play right now in vis-a-vis the president and Congress?

SANDERS: It's certainly a factor. It's one of the reasons that the president is very committed to boarder security, wants to stop the influx of drugs coming into this country.

QUESTION: I'm sure it's going to be more than just the wall because drugs are very easily flung over a wall, right?

SANDERS: Correct. Border security is more than just the wall.

QUESTION: And about the report that Mueller is expecting to be sitting down with the president in the coming weeks, what do you have to tell us about that?

SANDERS: The same thing that we've said many times before. That the White House is not going to comment on communications with the special counsel out of respect for the special counsel and its process, but we're going to continue to be in full cooperation with them.


QUESTION: Thank you, Sarah.

A lot of immigration critics believe that DACA deal by its very nature should -- is considered to be amnesty. Does the White House believe that that is amnesty?

SANDERS: No. And we believe that this was an important part of the process, and again, one that we're committed to finding a solution for.


QUESTION: Yes, Sarah.

Has President Trump been briefed by President Moon on the negotiations that South Koreans had with the North Koreans and what would this White House like to see as the next steps from Pyongyang?

SANDERS: I mean, I think certainly the next steps would be denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is our number one priority, and certainly, what we would like to see. We are in very close contacts with the -- our South Korean allies about these conversations.

The president spoke with Moon over the weekend. I don't believe they've spoken since then, but I know officials from our administration have been in touch with officials from the South Korean side.

Jim (ph)?

QUESTION: Sarah, just to be perfectly clear on this does the president want a wall in exchange for giving those DREAMers protection?

SANDERS: The president wants border security.


SANDERS: Just to be clear.

QUESTION: OK. So, what does border security entail? Does it include the wall at this stage or could the wall wait until later?

SANDERS: The wall is one of the pieces, as well as technology and another -- a number of other things that have been laid out by the Department of Homeland Security. I believe that Secretary Nielsen spoke about that pretty extensively at the meeting today and that portion was covered by you all during that timeframe.

QUESTION: The wall has to be part of a deal in order for these DREAMers to have protection?

SANDERS: Border security does have to be part of this process.

QUESTION: But do you understand -- I mean there's a difference ...

SANDERS: Why do we want to secure our border? I absolutely do because the safety and security of the people of this country are the president's number one responsibility and his number one priority when it comes to anything that he does. So, absolutely.

QUESTION: I understand that, but you understand how a wall can be different than boarder security, Sarah. Border security can ...

SANDERS: No, actually, I don't Jim.

QUESTION: It could mean agents, it could mean more fencing. It doesn't necessarily mean a physical wall ...

SANDERS: And that's part of the negotiation that we expect Congress to have.

QUESTION: But you understand, Democrats are saying that they may not be in favor of this kind of deal? That they're not going to exchange a wall ...

SANDERS: If Democrats aren't in favor of protecting American citizens then I think we've hit a sad day in American history, but I don't believe that to be the case because as we heard many of them say as they sat around that table when several of you were in the room, they are committed to boarder security, they do want it and most of them have voted for it previously before this legislation hit the floor. So, anything different is just ...

QUESTION: If they say thanks, but no thanks for the wall ...

SANDERS: Jim, I'm not negotiating with you. I'm going to let Congress take care of that.


QUESTION: Thank you, Sarah.

I just want to go back to the question of (inaudible) can you tell us a little bit about how this decision perhaps came about and what influenced it? Was it -- was there any -- excuse me. Was there any parts of it (inaudible) on Xi Jingping's appearance there last year and kind of seemed to take center stage and step into a space that had been left open by the U.S.?

SANDERS: No, I think it's about the president, once again, welcoming the opportunity to talk about the America First agenda. And that's what his plan is to do.

And that's the main reason that he's going there, is to continue to promote and talk about that with the world leaders that will attend, and some of the, obviously, leaders of the economy in this country.



QUESTION: Sarah, does the president have a (inaudible) -- thick (ph) set of principles and priorities for comprehensive immigration reform, or does he believe that that's something we should be flexible on when it comes to that?

SANDERS: Look, as I've said, I'm not gonna negotiate with you guys. We're gonna do that with Congress. We've laid out what we want right now, and we'll make announcements when we move beyond those four priorities that we've laid out.

I'll take one last question.

QUESTION: Sarah, the president said on Saturday that Robert Mueller's investigation makes our country look foolish. And he's expressed a similar sentiment a couple times before. But what does he mean, specifically, about making the country look foolish?

SANDERS: I think when we waste the amount of time that we have on something like this, that's been very clear from the beginning, that there is absolutely nothing to, if we want to look at places where there may be collusion, I think our administration has outlined where we think any special counsel should be focused. And it's certainly not on this president or the president's campaign.

SANDERS: Thanks so much, guys.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN HOST: A White House briefing leaving more confusion over where the president stands on immigration negotiations.

Here is a bit of the back story that we have learned. The president hosted these bipartisan lawmakers in this extraordinary meeting. We will play some of it for you here in just a second.

He seemed to be all over the map on whether he is demanding a border wall and any deal on the fate of dreamers. He seemed to agree on a clean DACA bill without a wall, but then Republicans pushed back on that immediately.

So my panel is back.

And, Maeve Reston, I want to start with you here.

The White House is trying to clean this up by saying he wants the generic -- they keep using the phrase border security. But what I'm not hearing is specifically saying he wants a wall.


My understanding about these conversations, you know, over the last couple of weeks with the smaller group, the working group, is that the president is very focused on having a wall, but what that wall is, he's very much open to negotiation on.

And I think that that's what we are hearing out of the White House briefing today. The overarching thing here that I have heard from lawmakers who have met with him in recent weeks is that he wants a deal. He is not specific about what is in that deal and that's why we are seeing him probably being all over the place today.

And Sarah Huckabee Sanders coming back in and trying to sort of assure those parts of his base that he's still committed to a wall, et cetera. But I think that the president literally could be all over the map on this issue as long as he gets a deal, and he will call it a wall, whatever it ends up being, if the Democrats agree to it.

So I think that the big thing we will be watching for here in the next couple of weeks is, how far will Democrats go to make a deal? Like, what will be the minimum that they will want and agree to? Obviously, it's very confusing in the meeting earlier when the president told Dianne Feinstein that he wanted -- he would accept a clean bill.

BALDWIN: Clean bill.

RESTON: Right, a clean DACA bill. Apparently, his definition is not the same as her definition of it, or that's what Sarah Huckabee Sanders just said.

BALDWIN: Right. Right. She was asked what does the clean DACA bill look like? And then the end of her sentence says, well, it would also close loopholes.

It's all this language,and everyone is left wondering, OK, but does that actually include a wall, or would they be able to do this clean DACA bill?

RESTON: It's kind of a good negotiating technique, right? Be all over the place.

BALDWIN: I mean, the art of the deal.


BALDWIN: David Drucker, to you. The president earlier in this meeting said, as we mentioned a second ago, he said, I will take the heat. He said he will sign whatever they give him.

And during the meeting, there were a couple of Republicans who seemed to essentially be reminding him, Mr. President, you are the guy in the driver's seat. And then we follow your lead.

DAVID DRUCKER, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: You know, the interesting thing about -- and this is what I did think, Brooke, that was interesting about this extended cover -- was that, for most Americans, particularly Democrats, the Trump that they're used to is rally Trump and Twitter Trump.

That Trump is very partisan, can be very hostile, can be very polarizing. If you have talked to anybody that has ever met with the president privately, and if you talk to people who meet with him regularly in a private setting, he's very accommodating, very agreeable, often too agreeable.

And I think we saw some of that there. And that's when we saw Kevin McCarthy, the House majority leader, jump in, interrupt the president, and explain to the president that what he was agreeing to was not what he actually believes and what he should agree to because that wasn't his own stated policy.

The president pushed back a little bit, and McCarthy then pushed back even more. And McCarthy was right. What the president has been saying for several weeks is that in exchange for legalizing the dreamers, he wants a wall.

And if the president holds to that, the Democrats are going to have a very difficult decision to make, because for their voting base, supporting President Trump's wall with money and votes is anathema to what they believe and stand for.

They are willing to support border security. That can mean agents. That can mean interior enforcement. That can mean technology. The wall, something the president campaigned on, something where he has been building prototypes with federal money to decide what that wall is going to look like, is something Democratic voters oppose.

[15:25:05] And then Democrats are going to have to decide in Congress, do they

make a deal that will guarantee that the dreamers can stay, or do they stick with their base, and take a chance that the dreamers might ultimately be deported?

And that is a very tough spot for them to be in if the president doesn't back down or change his position.

BALDWIN: Yes. Yes. I want to continue this conversation.

But in case -- for all the people watching, thinking, OK, I haven't seen any this meeting, I need to see this meeting, we have got a clip. This is what we are all talking about. Here you go.


SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY (R), IOWA: Talked about legalizing people here that didn't break the law, because their parents, who broke the law, brought them here.

And we ought to be talking about what we can do for the people that had no fault of their own and get the job done, and not worry about a lot of other things that we are involved in.

And that means we have to make sure that we tell the American people, when we are taking this step, that we are doing something that all the people agree to.

REP. STENY HOYER (D-MD), MINORITY WHIP: Mr. President, let me just say I think Dick and I agree with what Chuck Grassley just said.

DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: That's hard to believe. When was the last time that happened?


HOYER: We need to take care of these DACA kids, and we all agree on that; 86 percent of the American public agrees on that.

With all due respect, Bob and Mike and Lindsey, there are some things that you are proposing that are going to be very controversial and will be an impediment to agreement.

TRUMP: But you are going to negotiate those things. You are going to sit down. And you're going to say, listen, we can't agree here, we will give you half of that. We're going to -- you are going to negotiate those things.

HOYER: Mr. President, comprehensive means comprehensive.

TRUMP: No, we are not talking about comprehensive.


TRUMP: Now we're talking about DACA.


HOYER: No, we are talking about comprehensive.

TRUMP: If you want to go there, it's OK, because you are not that far away.

HOYER: Mr. President, many of the things that are mentioned ought to be part of the negotiations regarding comprehensive immigration reform.

TRUMP: Well, then, if you want to take it a step further, you may -- I'm going to have to rely on you, Dick -- you may complicate it, and you may delay DACA somewhat.

SEN. RICHARD DURBIN (D-IL), MINORITY WHIP: I don't want to do that.

You said at the outset we need to phase this. I think the first phase is what Chuck and Steny and I have mentioned, and others as well. We have a deadline looming and a lot of lives hanging.

We can agree on some very fundamental and important things together on border security, on chain, on future of diversity visas.

Comprehensive, though, I worked on it for six months with Michael Bennet and a number of -- Bob Menendez, and Schumer and McCain and Jeff Flake. And it took us six months to put it together. We don't have six months for the DACA.


BALDWIN: So, again, you know, again, just a pretty extraordinarily look at how some of the political sausage is made, thanks to the White House letting some of those cameras stay in there as long as they did.

The fact that the cameras are in there, just consider that. But on the wall, and just continuing our conversation, Maria Santana, I know you perked up when we were listening to the question about, well, back to the briefing, asked of Sarah Sanders, well, does the president still think Mexico is going to pay for this wall? And her response was yes.



SANTANA: You know, the president has really put himself between a rock and a wall, let's say, on this issue, because is he really going to sign something that's going to go back on one of his biggest campaign promises?

Who can forget the raucous chants of build a wall, build a wall, and who is paying for it? Mexico. And now we know, well, Mexico isn't paying for it. And even if they are, there's no plan. We haven't heard a plan on how they are going to make Mexico pay for it. The Mexican authorities are saying, we are not paying. And is he going to sign something that, according to his base of

supporters, gives people amnesty, you know, without including this wall?

So, this is a very tough position for him. And I think he's also smart, in that this whole I'm all over the place and I'm leaving it up to you guys and I will sign whatever you put in front of me also prevents him from getting the blame on what happens with his base and with the opposition, because he can say, I gave you a chance to make a deal.

Democrats messed it up or the Republican leadership that I entrusted to do this, those are the ones that failed you. I didn't fail you. They did.

And he likes to push that off.

BALDWIN: Speaking of the base, Caitlin, how do you think conservatives are going to feel with his comments on the use of earmarks?


That was another big issue today. We already heard from the Club for Growth, for example, a conservative group very active in congressional primaries and congressional races, saying, look, that is the antithesis of draining the swamp is adding these earmarks.

You are going to have some support of it in Congress. But this is something that's going to cause really an outrage in those terms. And to pick up back on the DACA issue, it was really interesting to hear Sarah Huckabee Sanders, when asked whether DACA was amnesty, she said no, which is also going to be kind of a sticking point in these negotiations among the most conservative members who do think that DACA is amnesty.

And so the president is certainly in this tug of war here. And it is interesting to think about the blame game going on. There is a reason why Republicans want the president to have buy-in on this, to lead on this issue and provide some political cover for them, especially in some of these congressional districts.


David, just back to you for one more on -- on the controversial Sheriff Joe, Joe Arpaio, who the president pardoned.


BALDWIN: I mean, you laugh, but you know where I'm going with this.