In a late-night tweet, President Trump on Tuesday ratcheted up taunts aimed at Democrats over the short-lived government shutdown, reiterating his insistence that there can be no fix on DACA without funding for his border wall.
“Cryin’ Chuck Schumer fully understands, especially after his humiliating defeat, that if there is no Wall, there is no DACA,” the president tweeted, referring to what he earlier described as how the Democrats “caved” on the shutdown.
On Monday, the Senate passed a stopgap-funding bill that keeps the government open until Feb. 8. Democrats joined in the 81-18 vote, agreeing to support the measure in exchange for assurances from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to work on a deal to grant legal status to roughly 700,000 immigrants protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
Tuesday’s tweet came after Schumer, the Senate minority leader, informed the White House that he was withdrawing an offer made during the heat of funding negotiations. In it, he agreed to support more than $1.6 billion for construction of the wall along the southern border with Mexico. But as Schumer told reporters on Tuesday, that offer on Friday was contingent on striking a more comprehensive deal that included DACA — an agreement that never materialized.
“The thought was that we could come to an agreement that afternoon, the president would announce his support, and the Senate and the House would get it done and it would be on the president’s desk,” Schumer said Tuesday, according to Politico.
“He didn’t do that. So we’re going to have to start on a new basis and so the wall offer is off the table,” he said.
Last week, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly told a caucus of Hispanic lawmakers that he had persuaded the president that his long-promised border wall was unnecessary. As a candidate, Kelly said, Trump was not “fully informed” of the border situation when he pledged to build the wall and since then, the president’s views on the subject had “evolved.”
The chief of staff reiterated those same points during an interview on Fox News.
However, hours after the Kelly’s remarks, the president sent out a tweet designed to undercut his chief of staff. Trump said: “The Wall is the Wall, it has never changed or evolved from the first day I conceived of it.”
On Tuesday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders sought to quash speculation, raised in a Vanity Fair article, that the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, was scouting a replacement for Kelly. Appearing on Fox & Friends, she said the president and Kelly “both plan on being here for the long haul and doing it together.”
Sanders’ comments came after Trump tweeted renewed praise for his chief of staff, who he said, “is doing a fantastic job.”