Last week, Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl revealed in a town hall meeting that President Obama was holding border security “hostage” in exchange for immigration reform. Almost immediately, video of the revelation went viral as political insiders speculated about the president’s intentions to crack down on illegal immigration.
Now however, it seems that is not entirely what Kyl meant. In a weekend interview with the National Review, Kyl said that his comments were “taken a bit out of context.” According to Kyl, the “they” he referred to was the left, or the “president’s base.”
“I did not try to start a fight,” said Kyl.
Was Kyl telling the truth last week about his meeting with the president?
In a Monday interview with Fox News, Kyl attempted to clarify: “I didn’t walk anything back … people read into what I said, something I didn’t say. What I said was exactly what the president told me and I stand by it.”
Kyl went on, “I was not making a charge or allegation against him … [but] what I said was exactly accurate.”
Last week, The Daily Caller reported that Kyl’s office was fiercely defending his allegation. “Senator Kyl stands by his remarks,” Kyl’s spokesperson, Andrew Wilder told The Daily Caller. “The White House spokesman’s pushback that you must have comprehensive immigration reform to secure the border only confirms Kyl’s account.”
White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer responded to Kyl’s claim by saying, “The president didn’t say that and Senator Kyl knows it.”