Welcome to WHAT NOW, a morning round-up of the news/fresh horrors that await you today.
After Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi announced on Wednesday night that they had struck a deal with President Trump to save the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Trump did what he usually does and immediately sent a series of wildly contradictory tweets about the situation on Thursday morning.
After dinner at the White House on Wednesday night, Pelosi and Schumer put out a joint statement announcing the deal, saying they “agreed to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides”—without funding Trump’s southern border wall.
Blowback from the party’s right wing was swift, with Breitbart headlining a story about the news with the moniker “Amnesty Don.” Anti-immigration hawk Rep. Steve King, of Iowa, tweeted that if the news that Trump made a deal to save protections for young undocumented people brought here as children waas true, the “Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair.”
The White House, through Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, also pushed back on Pelosi and Schumer’s statement that funding for the wall would be excluded from a legislative fix to save DACA.
On Thursday morning, Trump weighed in.
“No deal was made last night on DACA,” he began. “Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote.”
He also tweeted:
Trump then followed up this seemingly hardcore rebuff by going in virtually the opposite direction:
(Many of Trump’s supporters would be all too eager to tell him, “yes, of course, we want them out!”)
Trump concluded with a tweet that captured all of the mixed signals he was sending.
So what’s going on here?
Trump has been on friendly terms with Pelosi and Schumer since agreeing to the Democrats’ debt ceiling deal, a change in the normal state of affairs made more stark by how chilly Trump’s relationship with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan has become.
Trusting a handshake deal on an issue as high stakes as the fate of 800,000 young American immigrants with a president as capricious as Trump is stupid, of course, and Pelosi and Schumer are, if little else, shrewd politicians. So let’s wait to see some legislation.
Update, 8:36 AM:
After he and his communications team strenuously denied the Democrats’ account, Trump...immediately contradicted his denial:
That’s our Donald!
- Sen. Ted Cruz told CNN about liking that porn tweet earlier this week, saying, “It wasn’t me.” A staffer, a “fella,” made the “screwup,” Cruz said, which was quickly undone.
- Some old habits die hard: Sean Spicer, the former White House press secretary, was still defending his old boss on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night.
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