President Donald Trump told pool reporters early on Thursday that he anticipates working out a deal with Democratic leaders that can protect DREAMers and create border security.
"We're working on a plan — subject to getting massive border controls. We're working on a plan for DACA. People want to see that happen," Trump said. "You have 800,000 young people, brought here, no fault of their own. So we're working on a plan, we'll see how it works out. We're going to get massive border security as part of that. And I think something can happen, we'll see what happens, but something will happen."
Although Trump conceded that "the wall will come later," he seemed optimistic about increasing border security, claiming that "I think that both [House Minority Leader] Nancy Pelosi and [Senate Minority Leader] Chuck Schumer, I think they agree with it."
He added that he felt House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are "on board" with the administration's plans on DACA and border security.
The remarks come after a Wednesday night dinner with the Democratic leaders to discuss a deal that would allow DREAMers to remain in the United States. In the wake of the dinner, there was confusion over what deal, if any, was struck.
The initial White House statement on the Trump-Schumer-Pelosi meeting did not mention a deal, according to Axios. Shortly thereafter, however, Schumer and Pelosi issued a joint statement which said, "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."
In response to this, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that "DACA and border security were both discussed," but "excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to." To address Sanders' claim, Schumer spokesman Matt House said, "the President made clear he would continue pushing the wall, just not as part of this agreement."
As one source close to Trump told Axios, the president was aware that "there's no bigger symbol than the wall. It's bigger than immigration, it represents his entire presidency. Whether he builds it or not will determine whether the country views him as a success or failure, and likely whether he's a one-term or two-term president."
Trump himself weighed in on the matter through Twitter on Thursday morning, before his remarks to the press.
Regardless of what Trump said, White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short is reported to have told an industry trade group that the DACA agreement with Congress does not need to include a border wall, according to NBC News.