Sep 14, 2017, 10:41 PM ET

Speaker Ryan denies Trump immigration deal with Democrats

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House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., dismissed President Donald Trump's immigration reform talks with Democratic leaders Thursday, insisting that any agreement on the status of hundreds of thousands of undocumented immigrants would require Republican support to pass through Congress.

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"The president understands that he has to work with congressional majorities to get any kind of legislative solution," Ryan said at his weekly news conference.

The Wisconsin Republican, following a phone call with Trump and Chief of Staff John Kelly, told reporters that Trump's dinner with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-California, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, "was a discussion, not an agreement or a negotiation."

"These are discussions understanding people's positions," he said.

On Wednesday night, Schumer and Pelosi said they had reached an agreement with Trump to put together a legislative package to address the status of "Dreamers" that would include border security measures, short of funding for a border wall.

"Leader Schumer and I had a very productive meeting with President Trump where we agreed to a plan to work out an agreement to protect our nation’s dreamers from deportation," she said Thursday. "We insisted that the bipartisan DREAM Act, the one introduced by Congresswoman [Lucille] Roybal-Allard, would be the basis for the protection and that we would review border security measures that do not include building a wall as we go forward.”

The bipartisan Dream Act would offer a path to citizenship for hundreds of thousands of young unauthorized immigrants brought to the U.S. as children who graduated high school or obtained a GED and pursued higher education, served in the military or worked lawfully for several years.

As he returned from visiting areas impacted by Hurricane Irma in Florida, Trump told reporters Thursday "we're not talking about" a path to citizenship.

"We're working on a deal for DACA, but a lot has to do with the amount of security. We want very heavy security at the border," he said. "DACA now and the wall very soon, but the wall will happen."

Just hours earlier on Air Force One, White House Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters said “legal citizenship over a period of time” was in fact still an option for Dreamers.

Trump's dealings -- and comments about dealings -- with Democrats on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program has given rank-and-file Republicans whiplash on Capitol Hill, leaving many hesitant to back the president without seeing the details of an agreement.

"Nobody knows what the details are yet," said Rep. Lou Barletta, R-Pennsylvania., an immigration hardliner and early supporter of Trump's presidential campaign. "There will need need to be enforcement first."

“There is no deal currently made and of course there are 535 members of Congress who were not a party to the conversation and I know people will have a lot of interest in discussing it,” said Senator John Cornyn, R-Texas, the number two Republican in the Senate.

Republicans plan to discuss a path forward on an immigration agreement, Ryan said. Thursday. In a meeting with Democrats Wednesday, Ryan and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., raised the possibility of convening working groups on the issue with members of the House Homeland Security and Judiciary Committees.

"What I'm going to do is get consensus with our members now while we negotiate a compromise," Ryan said. "There will be a compromise. We believe this will occur. And this compromise will include border security and enforcement. so that we don't wind up with another DACA problem ten years down the road."

Others lawmakers plan to put forward their own proposals. Sens. James Lankford, R-Okla., and Thom Tillis, R-N.C., plan to introduce a bill next week to provide a legislative fix for the plight of dreamers that would also discourage illegal immigration, Lankford told ABC News in an interview.

Conservatives lashed out at Trump following news of a potential deal with Democrats.

“Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible,” Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, tweeted Wednesday night.

ABC News' Mary Bruce and Ali Rogin contributed to this report.

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  • center_line

    Once again Trumps people have to explain Trump with a "What he meant to say was".comment.Thing is,we the people aren't so stupid that we know EXACTLY what he meant to say.Because we heard it with our own ears and read his stupid tweets.

  • Dr. Gurnicus Blanstonius

    How do Republicans reconcile paying for and building some phantom 'great big beautiful wall'? Trump said, over and over and over again that Mexico would pay for it.

    I thought the GOP was 'supposed' to be the party for fiscal awareness..? And how much security 'would' they get from such a thing given there's no recorded instances of terrorists coming across and attacking the US? It's just meat to feed the rabid GOP base.

  • Dr. Gurnicus Blanstonius

    How would Ryan know what was said in the mtg. We heard it first hand from folks that were there.

  • Arryandan

    It's Obama's fault, he made the Republicans hate everything.

  • Dicazi

    His Tweet sure sounded like he made a deal.
    Did Cruz's mystery staffer get a hold of Trump's phone?

  • Snorlaxation

    He's a flip flopper. I'm not expecting much from this

  • b rubble

    Democrats be aware. Donald said if he does someone a favor he expects one back. He also asked for loyalty. With that said, Russian investigation.

  • Rick

    Which of the following best describes Trumps mental state:

    1. He has multiple personalities;
    2. He has dementia;
    3. He is a pathological liar;
    4. He has narsacsistic personality disorder;
    5. He has malginant personality disorder;
    6. All of the above.

  • Seabreeze Oceana

    Maybe instead of hitting the 97% of us to get your rich cesspool billionaires even uglier richer try this American Middleclass Agenda, dummie Donnie:

    Maybe instead of hitting social programs, these idiots should look at cutting the following "wealth" programs; Tax Breaks for CEO bonuses ($7 billion/year) (Bonuses are written off and not taxes as regular income) That $7 billion could single handedly fund the annual budget for the National Science Foundation. Tax cuts for luxury corporate jets ($300 million/year) (as "security costs") This is approximately 50 percent of the annual budget for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Big oil subsidies ($37.5 billion/year) the Department of Housing and Urban Development allocated a total of $34.3 billion toward tenant-based rental assistance ($19 billion), project-based rental assistance ($8.7 billion), and general public housing programs ($6.6 billion) Pharmaceutical subsidies ($270 billion/year). The money saved could pay for the annual $270 billion in insurance costs from Obamacare that would help more Americans get access to healthcare. Capital gains tax breaks ($51 Billion/year) (If taxed as ordinary income) $51 billion per year in savings could fund two-thirds of the annual budget for food stamps. Handouts to Big Ag ($18 billion/year) via "Crop Insurance". This $18 billion in corporate welfare is more than NASA’s annual budget, which has hovered around the $17 billion mark since 2009. Welfare for Wall Street ($83 billion/year). If we were to force the big banks to borrow at the same interest rates as every other bank at a rate of $83 billion per year, that would be enough to double the current federal budgets for highway spending ($48.6 billion), Head Start ($10.1billion), the Environmental Protection Agency ($7.89 billion), nutrition assistance for women, infants, and children ($6.2 billion), the National Parks Service ($3 billion), and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation ($2.39 billion), with $5 billion left over. Export-Import bank subsidies ($112 billion). But what's worse is the fact that the GOP is going to defend Trump for as long as they feel they feasibly can, simply because his sheer stupidity and asinine tweets make a convenient smokescreen to keep the media distracted while the Republicans continue to loot and plunder the citizens of this country and rape its lands, all to profit themselves and their donors. Remove this Traitor and Treasonous Trump Crime Family Ring.

  • 20 Yr Retired Military

    Does the GOP really want to raise everyones taxes to pay for some nonsense wall?

  • knowlegde n understanding

    I truly don't understand. And sometimes it becomes truly embarrassing being a US citizen. Thousands of Trump supporters have said build a wall. Bannon, has reclaimed the wall agenda, and gathered masses to make sure it happens.
    But in truth, why do they truly want a wall built, and who will actually be the ones with the weapons guarding it? Will Trump hire KKK to guard the wall?
    Because it doesn't make any form of sense to actually build a wall, when the actual Mexican criminals all come under ground and cross into the US. Construction will only hide the under ground drilling so they can create more underground tunnels leading into the US. So in actuality. Building a wall will actually help the Mexican cartel, more than deter them from coming into the US.
    This comment will probably get banned. But I hope the moderator at least will understand my concern as an American citizen in all of this.

  • Erwin Schrodinger

    What Trump remembers from meetings depends on his mood... and we know that changes frequently... as well as what his base wants to hear.