Tags: Immigration | lindsey graham | immigration | white house meeting

Sen. Graham: Immigration 'Has Turned Into a Sh— Show'

(Raw Story)

By    |   Tuesday, 16 January 2018 03:12 PM

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was candid and frank Tuesday when he tried to explain the uproar over what President Donald Trump may or may not have said during a bipartisan immigration meeting last week.

Referring to the "two Trumps," Graham did more answering than questioning during Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen's appearance in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

"What I heard Tuesday was a president who seemed to understand it had to be bipartisan. Phase one is just a down payment, it needs to be comprehensive. We need to go to merit-based immigration, we need to secure our border, we need to be fair to the illegal immigrants, and we need to emphasize security. But he said love," Graham said during the hearing, referencing an open and bipartisan meeting at the White House early last week. Much of that session was broadcast live.

Graham then wondered aloud what happened before a second meeting on Thursday, after which Sen. Dick Durbin claimed Trump used the term "sh**hole countries" to describe Haiti and certain African nations.

Graham asked Nielsen a series of questions to which he wasn't necessarily seeking an answer. It seemed instead that he was trying to make a point.

"Thursday. Are you aware that Sen. Durbin and the president talked at 10 o'clock, around that time Thursday morning?" Graham asked.

"Are you aware of the fact that Dick Durbin called me and said, 'I had the best conversation ever with the president, we should follow up on it?'

"Are you aware of the fact that I said, 'Great, Dick. I'll call the White House and see if we can set up a meeting?'

"So what happened between 10 and 12? I don't know either, and I'm gonna find out and I'm not gonna ask you. … Tuesday, we had a president that I was proud to golf with, call my friend, who understood immigration had to be bipartisan … I don't know where that guy went, I want him back."

Graham said the fiasco about whether or not Trump used the derogatory term in Thursday's meeting, and the greater issue of coming to an agreement on an immigration bill, "has turned into a 's—show.'"

During a grilling by Durbin earlier in the hearing, Nielsen said emotions at Thursday's immigration meeting were heated and curse words were said by multiple people in the room. Graham acknowledged that as he spoke.

"The president ran hot, I think I know why. Something happened between Tuesday and Thursday, and we'll get to the bottom of that," Graham said. "And quite frankly, I got pretty passionate and I ran a little hot too. Somebody needs to fix this problem."

Graham left the hearing room shortly after his time was up and, during a brief appearance in front of TV cameras, suggested that someone on the White House staff provided bad advice to the president — which Graham said may have caused Trump to change his tune on immigration.

Lawmakers are trying to put together bipartisan legislation that will add border security, change certain aspects of immigration law, and come to an agreement on protecting people who have benefited from the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. DACA will expire March 5, at which point roughly 700,000 people could be subject to deportation.

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Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., was candid and frank Tuesday when he tried to explain the uproar over what President Donald Trump may or may not have said during a bipartisan immigration meeting last week.
lindsey graham, immigration, white house meeting
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2018-12-16
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 03:12 PM
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