'In Command': Trump Shocks Media With Access To Immigration Meeting With Democrats

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Posted: Jan 09, 2018 3:35 PM
'In Command': Trump Shocks Media With Access To Immigration Meeting With Democrats

President Donald Trump has been besieged by allegations, rather ludicrous ones, that he’s somehow unstable and mentally unfit to be president. Michael Wolff’s new book, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White, has been a public relations nightmare, despite multiple media figures and officials calling out its inaccuracies. Well, what happened today dispelled all of that. Cortney wrote it up earlier today. Trump held a bipartisan meeting with Democrats and Republicans on the subject of immigration. There was agreement that something had to be done for the DACA recipients, everyone was for border security, and there might be something on chain migration (via NYT):

President Trump on Tuesday appeared to endorse a sweeping immigration deal that would eventually grant millions of undocumented immigrants a pathway to citizenship, saying he would be willing to “take the heat” politically for an approach that many of his hard-line supporters have long viewed as unacceptable.

The president made the remarks during an extended meeting with congressional Republicans and Democrats who are weighing a shorter-term agreement that would extend legal status for undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children. Mr. Trump has said such a deal must be accompanied by new money for a border wall and measures to limit immigrants from bringing family members into the country in the future, conditions he repeated during the meeting on Tuesday.

[…]

Seated with members of both parties during a meeting at the White House to discuss a narrower immigration agreement, the president said there was room for a compromise on DACA.

“We have something in common,” Mr. Trump said of Democrats. "We’d like to see this get done.”

But the president said he would insist on strict new immigration limits as part of any such measure, calling it a “bill of love.” Laying out conditions that many Democrats view as nonstarters, Mr. Trump said the legislation must fortify the nation’s borders; end “chain migration,” a term used by immigration critics to refer to immigrants’ ability to bring members of their extended family to the United States after gaining their own legal status; and cancel the diversity visa lottery program.

We’ll see. Either way it was great spin for the president, who Democrats have tried to cast as mentally insane; he’s not. The extended media access was hailed as an unprecedented window into deal making by the media, though some had much more measured responses.

Even CNN praised the extended pool spray, with Dana Bash saying that this meeting probably wouldn’t have gone any different if the cameras weren’t there, citing two Republicans at the meeting who told her they had no idea the cameras would stick around that long. She added that this is what people who voted for Trump hoped his presidency would look like, The Donald “in command.”

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Shannon Pettypiece of Bloomberg added that given the allegations in the book, Trump needed to meet with Democrats and an image improvement and this meeting satisfied those two goals.

Bash’s CNN colleague John King said what we saw today was a very engaged president, one who was putting the pressure on both parties regarding their talking points on this issue, while saying he’s open to comprehensive immigration reform. It’s something that this town hasn’t seen in a while.  

The issue has reached a level of criticality, as a government shutdown looms in the absence of a deal on immigration.