According to a moment-by-moment report of the contentious White House meeting over immigration reform, the Washington Post is reporting that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had President Donald Trump’s ear and convinced him to scuttle a bipartisan deal on DACA.
While Trump’s comments about Haiti and African nations being “sh*tholes” got all the media attention — with the Post now reporting Kelly didn’t even blink when Trump said it — little has been reported on why Trump killed the deal which has infuriated Republicans and Democrats alike.
The report states that Kelly was briefed on the proposed bipartisan deal before the meeting and spoke with president before he sat down with Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen Lindsey Graham (R-SC).
According to the Post, Kelly “talked to Trump to tell him that the proposal would probably not be good for his agenda,” adding that Kelly has provided Trump with major input on immigration following his brief stint as secretary of Homeland Security. The report also states one official claims Kelly has “very strong feelings,” when it comes to immigration.
According to the report, “White House officials say Kelly is determined to secure a deal on dreamers and border security and has told Trump that the southwestern border is worse than it was a few years ago — and that he can be the president to change the status quo.”
Anti-immigrant activist Mark Krikorian, who runs the Center for Immigration Studies, is happy the deal was scuttled, saying, “Once we saw what was going on in the meeting a few days earlier, we were freaked out,” before adding Trump “has hawkish instincts on immigration, but they aren’t well-developed, and he hasn’t ever been through these kind of legislative fights.”
You can read the whole insider report on the meeting here.