President Donald Trump says he expects funding for his border wall to pass when he's ready for it or Republicans will become the obstructionists in Congress.
'Ultimately, we have to have the wall if we don't have the wall, we're doing nothing,' Trump reporters from the tarmac when he landed in Florida this morning.
The president also denied that he was giving 'amnesty' to illegal immigrants as part of an agreement he's working on with Democrats.
'We're not looking at citizenship. We're not looking at amnesty. We're looking at allowing people to stay here. We're working with everybody, Republican, we're working with Democrat,' Trump stated.
The president admitted earlier on Thursday as he left the White House for the daylong trip that he discussed a deal with Democrats to protect illegal immigrants who came to the U.S. as minors from deportation and fund some border security enhancements but not a wall.
After claiming in early morning tweets that 'no deal' had been reached, Trump told reporters awaiting his departure that he was 'fairly close' to hammering out an agreement that mirrors the one his White House smacked down last night as a false negotiation.
'We're working on a plan for DACA. People want to see that happen. You have 800,000 young people brought here, no fault of their own, so we're working on a plan, we will see how it works out. But we are going to get massive border security as part of that, and I think something can happen,' Trump said over the roar of Marine One.
Massive border security
The president explicitly said, 'The wall will come later.' He also claimed that House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are 'on board' with the DACA deal he hammered out last night at a private meeting with Democrats.
'The wall is going to be built, and it will be funded later,' he asserted.
Trump previously said in tweets that 'massive border security' adjustments would have to be on the table for him to make a handshake agreement with Democrats.
'No deal was made last night on DACA. Massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent. Would be subject to vote,' he said in Thursday morning tweets. 'The WALL, which is already under construction in the form of new renovation of old and existing fences and walls, will continue to be built.'
Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a joint statement at roughly the same time as Trump was speaking to the press that his tweets were not inconsistent with what they'd claimed.
They said last night after a White House dinner that an agreement had been brokered that would protect the 800,000 immigrants who benefited from former President Barack Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.
Trump had put the program on a six-month sunset and urged Congress to pass legislation in that window to keep Dreamers, as they are called, in the U.S. permanently.
A joint Democratic statement said that Trump agreed to set aside the border wall as part of the agreement. The White House spokeswoman immediately slapped the claim down. The president followed suit this morning on Twitter.
Hours later, he seemed to confirm what Pelosi and Schumer had said.
'We want to get massive border security, and I think that both Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer, I think they agree with it,' Trump posited. 'So we met last night, with, as you know, Schumer, Pelosi and a whole group. I think we're fairly close but we have to get massive border security. '
Trump said he'd spoken to McConnell and Ryan since, and they had no qualms with the package that's under development.
'Oh I think he's on board, yeah, Mitch is on board. Paul Ryan's on board. We all feel, look, 92 percent of the people agree on DACA, but we want, is we want very, very powerful border security,' Trump said.
Schumer and Pelosi more or less agreed with Trump's take on the meeting in a joint statement that hit inboxes as he was talking.
'President Trump's Tweets are not inconsistent with the agreement reached last night. As we said last night, there was no final deal, but there was agreement on the following:
'We agreed that the President would support enshrining DACA protections into law, and encourage the House and Senate to act.
'What remains to be negotiated are the details of border security, with a mutual goal of finalizing all details as soon as possible. While both sides agreed that the wall would not be any part of this agreement, the President made clear he intends to pursue it at a later time, and we made clear we would continue to oppose it.
'Both sides agreed that the White House and the Democratic leaders would work out a border security package. Possible proposals were discussed including new technology, drones, air support, sensor equipment, rebuilding roads along the border and the bipartisan McCaul-Thompson bill.'
It's the second time in two weeks that Trump has met with Pelosi and Schumer to talk about a deal with the potential to anger conservatives. The first time he met with them Ryan and McConnell were present. The meeting ended with a firm agreement to move forward with a three-month extension of government funding and the debt limit.
Importantly, the deal provided immediate aid to areas affected by Hurricane Harvey.