The White House walked back a comment President Trump made earlier Friday that threatened to deal a devastating blow to House GOP efforts to pass an immigration bill next week.
Officials now say President Trump would sign the leadership-backed immigration measure if it reached his desk.
In a whirlwind interview Friday morning, Trump told Fox News he was reviewing two proposals but said he “certainly wouldn’t sign the more moderate one.” “I need a bill that gives this country tremendous border security. I have to have that,” he said during a rare appearance from the White House North Lawn.
The “moderate” bill was thought to be a reference to the legislation House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., is trying to develop with Trump. If Trump is suddenly opposed to that effort, it’s unlikely House Republican leaders can get far with it.
A White House official told Reporters that Trump “misunderstood the question this morning on Fox News” and is fully supportive of both legislation after it became unclear what kind of role he would play in trying to get either bill passed.
The Official said “We fully support both the Goodlatte bill and the Leadership bill,” adding that Trump “was commenting on the discharge petition/dreamers bill — not the new package. He would 100 percent sign either Goodlatte or the other bill.” It wasn’t clear Friday if Trump had been briefed on the details of a 293-page bill circulated by GOP leaders to House Republicans on Thursday before he spoke with Fox News.
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