Since late Wednesday evening when Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued a statement saying President Trump had agreed on an immigration deal, Trump and the White House have issued a number of statements to try to explain their position on the matter. They have been, at times, contradictory.
A brief timeline of their progression is as follows:
WE NEVER SAID NO WALL.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said late on Wednesday night on Twitter that despite the statement from Schumer and Pelosi, “excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.” Matt House, communications director for Schumer shot back saying that Trump had agreed to pursue the wall outside of the agreement he’d struck with Democrats.
THERE’S NO DEAL
On Thursday morning Trump tweeted that “no deal was made last night on DACA,” which is similar to the language used by Schumer and Pelosi who stressed that it wasn’t a concrete deal but rather an agreement to discuss ways in which DREAMers could be protected in exchange for enhanced border security.
LET ME LAY OUT THE CONTOURS OF THE DEAL
Then, the president followed it up with a subsequent tweets that essentially outlined the deal that was struck. He made the case for protecting DREAMers, talked about “border security” and described the wall as an addendum. “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,” he tweeted.
A DEAL IS IN THE WORKS
Later in the morning, as Trump left the White House for Florida to survey damage from Hurricane Irma, his language on the issue changed again. “We’re working on a plan” the president told reporters.
WE DON’T NEED A WALL RIGHT NOW
Talking to those same reporters, Trump added that “the wall will come later.”
CITIZENSHIP IS ON THE TABLE
Aboard Air Force One, the White House’s line morphed once again. Deputy Press Secretary Lindsay Walters told reporters: "The Trump administration will not be discussing amnesty. What the Trump administration will discuss is a responsible path forward in immigration reform, that could include legal citizenship over a period of time."
THERE’S NO DEAL
Walters added, "there was no deal made."
CITIZENSHIP IS NOT ON THE TABLE
By almost 11 a.m., when the President was on the ground in Florida to visit hurricane damage, he said the following: "We are not looking at citizenship. We are not looking at amnesty. We are looking at allowing people to stay here. We are working with everybody."
THE WALL HAS TO BE PART OF THIS
After coming back from his trip to Florida, Trump again took questions from the press pool “If the Democrats aren't going to approve it [money for the wall], then we're not going to do what they want," he said.
THE WALL CAN COME LATER. BUT NOT MUCH LATER.
During that same Q+A with reporters, Trump added: "DACA now and the wall very soon, but the wall will happen"
WE ARE NOT BUILDING A FENCE
Later in the afternoon, an email to supporters from the President read: “Let me set the record straight in the simplest language possible….WE WILL BUILD A WALL (NOT A FENCE).”