Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer was captured on a hot mic Thursday telling his staffers “He likes us. He likes me anyway,” referencing President Donald Trump.
Schumer can be heard on the Senate floor discussing his Wednesday meeting with Trump in which he made the case for a bipartisan cooperation.
“Here’s what I told him: ‘Mr. President, you are much better off sometimes stepping right and sometimes step left. You have to step just in one direction, you’re boxed,'” he said.
“He gets that. We are always going to work it out, and it will make us more productive too,” Schumer added.
Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi emerged from the Wednesday evening meeting celebrating a legislative compromise. The pair announced that Trump agreed to preserve the Deferred Action Against Childhood Arrivals (DACA) protections in legislation in exchange for increased border security funding, absent appropriations for the construction of a border wall.
“We had a very productive meeting at the White House with the President. The discussion focused on DACA. We 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,” the two Democratic leaders said in a joint statement late Wednesday night.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders disputed the Democratic leaders account of the meeting, insisting the meeting yielded agreement over the broad outlines of a legislative compromise, but no deal had yet been finalized.
Democratic leadership pushed for an immigration reform package that included increased border security measures but no new border wall construction, when Trump was campaigning heavily on the issue leading up to the 2016 election.
“We’re not going to help him build his wall,” Schumer told Politico in November 2016. “We have a comprehensive immigration reform bill that builds in much tougher border security and it had bipartisan support than he’s ever called for.”
Trump’s close relationship with Democratic leadership has drawn the ire of Hill conservatives since he agreed to their initial debt ceiling offer in early September over the objections of leaders within his party and administration.
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