Donald Trump's stance on immigration this week is "what it's always been," campaign manager Kellyanne Conway insisted Thursday while rejecting concerns that he's softened on his stance on the hardline policies he's backed since the beginning of his campaign last summer.
"Donald Trump's against amnesty, and I'm against amnesty," Conway told CNN "New Day" host Chris Cuomo.
But on Wednesday night, during a town-hall-style event hosted by Fox News' Sean Hannity, Trump indicated his policies could allow "working with" some undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States, drawing comparisons to Jeb Bush and departing from calls he'd made before about deporting the 11 million or more undocumented immigrants living in the country.
"No citizenship. Let me go a step further -- they'll pay back-taxes, they have to pay taxes, there's no amnesty, as such, there's no amnesty, but we work with them," Trump told Hannity.
Cuomo told Conway that Trump's words could sound like a departure for other hardliners, who call for deportation, but Conway told him that "voters need to see is what Donald Trump is saying his immigration plan is."
That plan, she continued is "no amnesty, no sanctuary cities so that innocent victims like Kate Steinle who was murdered right in front of her father in San Francisco, by a man who had been deported five times. That should outrage everybody in the United States, regardless of their political affiliation."
Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, however, supports sanctuary cities and amnesty, said Conway.
"She's actually considerably to the left of [President] Barack Obama on the issue of immigration, and the only way the voters are going to know that is if we tell them," Conway said.
Trump's plans also continue to include building a wall at the U.S.-Mexico border, she continued.
Cuomo, though, commented that Trump's stance, particularly when it comes to obeying the laws on the books, mirrors proposals from former rivals like Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio, a contention Conway denied.
"This man's not for amnesty," she told Cuomo, who replied "neither was Rubio."
"Rubio's a particularly different case because he led the Gang of Eight with [New York Democratic Sen.] Chuck Schumer," Conway said. "Their plan was amnesty."
Conway told Cuomo Trump is now working on a new message on immigration with Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, who calls for a border, and with Stephen Miller, a Trump adviser and former Sessions staff worker.
The two men are "immigration experts," she told him. "I think that they are trying to find a way to explain -- well, for Donald Trump to articulate to Americans a very complex issue and how he feels about it."
Trump was to have delivered a speech in Denver on Thursday on the topic of immigration, but ended up canceling it and other scheduled appearances in Oregon and Colorado.
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