Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Tuesday that they were upset that President Donald Trump appeared to change his mind on their immigration deal — and they named who they blamed for it.
Here’s the video of Senators Graham and Durbin:
Here’s what they said:
“I’ll try to figure out the best I can what happened between 10 o’clock and 12 o’clock,” Graham said, explaining that Trump had agreed to the deal but changed his mind hours later.
“I will say I don’t think the president was well served by his staff,” he added. “I think the presidents, uh, that we saw Tuesday, that Donald Trump exists, and somehow, by 12 o’clock on Thursday, something happened, and uh, I don’t think he was well served by his staff, but he’s responsible for how he conducts himself and so am I.”
“We cannot do this with people in charge at the White House with an irrational view of how to fix immigration,” he angrily concluded.
Sen. Durbin was more explicit in his criticism, and offered the name of who he thought was responsible for changing Trump’s mind on the deal.
“Listen, any effort to kill immigration reform usually has Mr. Miller’s fingerprints on it,” Durbin told the media. He referred to Trump aide Stephen Miller, who is a longtime advocate for far more stringent immigration enforcement and restrictions.
“Sen. Graham and I both believe that we’re running out of time when it comes to DACA, that these people’s lives are hanging in the balance while we waste time with nothing happening on the floor of the Senate,” he explained.
“We think we have a bill that is well-balanced,” Durbin added, “supported by Democrats and Republicans, that it addresses the critical issue of the future, not only DACA, but also addresses the issues of border security, family unification, and the future of the diversity visa.”
What was wrong with the deal?
Trump signaled his intense dissatisfaction for the deal on his Twitter account:
I, as President, want people coming into our Country who are going to help us become strong and great again, people coming in through a system based on MERIT. No more Lotteries! #AMERICA FIRST
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2018
Trump had said that he would sign any deal the lawmakers had agreed on, but decided against it after it was delivered.