In a Sunday morning tweetstorm, President Donald Trump lashed out at Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Democrats for rejecting his proposal offering temporary protections to some undocumented immigrants in exchange for $5.7 billion in border security funding.
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The president accused Pelosi of behaving “irrationally” for turning down his offer.
“Nancy Pelosi has behaved so irrationally & has gone so far to the left that she has now officially become a Radical Democrat. She is so petrified of the ‘lefties’ in her party that she has lost control.”
He added in another tweet, “Nancy Pelosi and some of the Democrats turned down my offer yesterday before I even got up to speak. They don’t see crime & drugs, they only see 2020 – which they are not going to win.”
During an address on Saturday in the Diplomatic Room of the White House, the president presented what he called a “compromise” bill aimed at reopening the government, securing border wall funding, and providing legal protections for some undocumented immigrants. When details of the proposal leaked to the press ahead of the president’s announcement, Democrats swiftly panned the offer as dead on arrival because it did not offer permanent protections for some immigrants. Pelosi called Trump’s proposal a “non-starter.”
The president also defended his proposal from immigration hardliners on the right who claim it offers amnesty.
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Trump tweeted that amnesty “is not a part” of his shutdown offer, and added that there will be “no big push” to remove undocumented immigrants. But he ended by threatening Pelosi, seeming to refer to potential deportations. “Be careful Nancy!” Trump tweeted.
On Saturday, right-wing writer Ann Coulter railed against the proposal.
“Trump proposes amnesty. We voted for Trump and got Jeb!” Coulter tweeted.
J. Scott Applewhite/APSpeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi takes questions from reporters, Jan. 18, 2019, on Capitol Hill in Washington.
James Carafano from the conservative Heritage Foundation said that while the Trump administration should be “applauded for its attempts to both secure our border and end the government shutdown,” he added that “including amnesty in the new proposal is not the way to do it.”
During a briefing with reporters yesterday afternoon following Trump’s announced proposal, Vice President Mike Pence tried to push back on right-wing criticisms.
“There is no amnesty in the president’s proposal, there is no pathway to citizenship in this proposal. It is 3-year relief for TPS and DACA,” Pence said.
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Jared Kushner, a senior adviser to Trump, said the president is “tired of posturing from both sides” and said he hopes Trump’s proposal builds “trust” for future, larger reforms as the president suggested in his tweet this morning.
“What’s keeping people hopeful is if they see breakthrough here it sets a positive tone” Kushner said.
However, Democrats did not signal they would be open to any negotiations, and Pelosi said that Democrats plan to plow ahead on unrelated border security bills next week.
Meanwhile, as the longest government shutdown in U.S. history reaches the one month mark, over 800,000 federal workers remain furloughed or working without pay while Trump and Pelosi engage in a political tit-for-tat.
Pelosi requested that the president postpone the State of the Union address to Congress, citing security concerns during the partial government shutdown. The president retaliated by halting the use of a government plane for a special congressional trip to Brussels and Afghanistan Pelosi and Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., were among the members slated to attend.
The White House has not yet announced any alternative plans for the State of the Union. On Twitter, the president said he is looking at “so many options” for the address, including delivering it on Capitol Hill.
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“Nancy, I am still thinking about the State of the Union speech, there are so many options — including doing it as per your written offer (made during the Shutdown, security is no problem), and my written acceptance. While a contract is a contract, I’ll get back to you soon!” the president tweeted.
Yesterday, Trump was asked if his political feud with the Speaker of the House has become too personal.
“Whether it is personal or not, it is not personal for me. She’s being controlled by the radical left which is a problem,” Trump replied.
But on Sunday morning, the president insulted Pelosi’s home district, which includes San Francisco.
“And by the way,” Trump tweeted, “clean up the streets in San Francisco, they are disgusting!”