President Donald Trump on Sunday declared a deal on the DACA immigration program likely “dead,” tweeting his view that Democrats don’t really want one.
Democratic lawmakers “just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military,” he wrote.
DACA is probably dead because the Democrats don’t really want it, they just want to talk and take desperately needed money away from our Military.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2018
The latter claim was an apparent reference to Democrats’ demand that the DACA program be codified into law before any deal is finalized on how to treat defense and domestic spending in a stalled fiscal 2018 spending measure.
Trump’s Sunday tweet marked a strikingly quick — even for him — change of mind. During a separate White House meeting on Tuesday, he told a larger group of member he would sign just about any immigration bill they sent him.
“I think my positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with,” the president said during the meeting.
Trump said he had “great confidence” in the bipartisan gathering.
“If they come to me with things that I’m not in love with, I’m going to do it, because I respect them,” he said.
A federal judge temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to end the DACA program on Wednesday.
In another Sunday morning tweet, Trump again pushed for a “merit-based” system to dictate who would be allowed into the United States.
It came after the president on Thursday reportedly expressed anger over immigrants coming from Haiti and African countries, which he allegedly dubbed “shithole countries.” He also reportedly expressed a desire that more immigrants from places like Norway come here.
Trump has indirectly denied using that exact phrase, but tweeted Friday he did use some “tough” language during a Thursday Oval Office meeting with lawmakers and aides during which he rejected a compromise proposal on DACA and other immigration matters offered by Senate Democratic Whip Richard J. Durbin and GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham.
The Illinois Democrat on Friday said Trump used the slur repeatedly, and the South Carolina Republican did not deny it, saying in a statement that he confronted Trump immediately.
“In the course of his comments, [he] said things which were hate-filled, vile, and racist,” Durbin said Friday. “To no surprise, the president started tweeting this morning that he denied using those words. It is not true. He said those hate-filled things, and he said them repeatedly.
In that context, however, Trump’s Sunday declaration that he only wants immigrants to come to the United States who “are going to help us become strong and great again” likely will only bring a fresh round of criticism from Democratic lawmakers and minority groups.
Watch: Ryan, Pelosi Disagree on DACA Solution