Originally published by Politico
Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) “were completely dishonest” in their negotiations on immigration with President Donald Trump, White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said Monday.
Gidley criticized a bipartisan deal on immigration brought forth by the lawmakers, along with four other senators, for failing to live up to their assurances to the White House.
“Senator Graham and Senator Durbin called the president and told him they had a bipartisan bill,” Gidley said on CNN’s “The Lead With Jake Tapper.” “They’d come together with some meeting of the minds to prepare a piece of legislation that would address everything the president outlined. The president was ecstatic.”
But he added: “Here’s the problem: Senator Graham and Senator Durbin were completely dishonest.”
Their proposal, Gidley said, “woefully” underfunded the president’s long-sought wall along the southern U.S. border with Mexico and did little to address “chain migration,” an issue the Trump administration has made central to discussions with lawmakers on Capitol Hill.
Gidley also criticized Graham for painting himself as being in lockstep with the White House on immigration, extending a contentious streak of exchanges between the South Carolina lawmaker and the president.
“To pretend he is anything other than someone who wants open borders and amnesty is just disingenuous,” Gidley said.
White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said earlier Monday that while Trump intended to negotiate with lawmakers over protections for young undocumented immigrants under the DREAM Act, he would not support the Graham-Durbin measure.
“The Graham-Durbin proposal is not a proposal the president can sign,” Shah said.