Reports of an apparent deal between President Donald Trump and Democratic congressional leaders on the fate of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants alarmed some Iowa Republicans on Thursday morning.
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, said he was reassured by a tweet from the president that there is no deal — even as the president gave other signals later in the day.
“Democrats drew the wrong conclusion,” Grassley maintained.
Exactly what transpired between the president and Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., at a White House meeting Wednesday night weren’t clear.
News reports late Wednesday said the Democrats reported they had a deal with Trump to protect the immigrants and strengthen border security — but without building a border wall, at least for now.
The reports drew a sharp response from some Republicans and Trump supporters.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, reacting to an Associated Press report, tweeted late Wednesday: “If AP is correct, Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible.”
Grassley, in his own tweet Thursday morning, also expressed concerns. There are efforts ongoing in Congress to come to an agreement and Grassley suggested this would have undermined those efforts.
After Trump tweeted Thursday that “no deal was made last night” and that “massive border security” would be part of any agreement, Grassley told reporters he was no longer concerned.
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“If the report had been right, and it wasn’t right, that he had reached an agreement with the Democrats, that would have undercut us. But I’m satisfied with the president’s tweet that he has not,” Grassley said.
Democrats, though, stood their ground. And later Thursday, while visiting Florida in the wake of Hurricane Irma, Trump made remarks that appear to contradict those that had earlier comforted Grassley.
“You have 800,000 young people, brought here, no fault of their own. So we’re working on a plan, we’ll see how it works out. We’re going to get massive border security as part of that. And I think something can happen, we’ll see what happens, but something will happen,” the president said.
A request for the thoughts of Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, was answered with an email from a spokesman.
“Senator Ernst will review any finalized proposals as they become available. Until we see such legislation, it is difficult to know exactly what it would entail,” the email said.
The Tribune Washington Bureau contributed to this report.