Arizona Republican Jon Kyl dropped a bombshell on Friday when he told supporters in Phoenix that during a one-on-one meeting on immigration, President Obama said he’s “holding it hostage” — “it” being border security — in exchange for comprehensive reform. But according to the White House, Obama made no such threat.
“The president didn’t say that and Senator Kyl knows it,” White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer told The Daily Caller. “There are more resources dedicated toward border security today than ever before, but, as the president has made clear, truly securing the border will require a comprehensive solution to our broken immigration system.”
“There were two people in that meeting and Dan Pfeiffer was not one of them,” Andrew Wilder, Communications Director for Kyl told The Daily Caller.
“Senator Kyl stands by his remarks. The White House spokesman’s pushback that you must have comprehensive immigration reform to secure the border only confirms Kyl’s account,” said Wilder.
Kyl’s accusation was caught on camera, and the video is being circulated among political insiders. In it, Kyl responds to a question on immigration by saying that he and the president had a private meeting about border security. (WATCH KYL’S REMARKS)
According to Kyl, Obama said: “The problem is … if we secure the border then you all won’t have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform.”
“In other words, they’re holding it hostage,” said Kyl.
The senator said he responded to the president in the meeting by saying the federal government is obligated to secure the border: “You don’t have to have comprehensive reform to secure the border, but you have to secure the border to get comprehensive reform”
Kyl ended his response by declaring that the Obama administration has not yet acted on securing the borders because doing so would produce no political gain for the Democrats. “They want to get something in return for doing their duty,” said Kyl.