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  1. #1
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    John Kelly Told Democrats Some of Trump's Campaign Stances 'Uninformed'

    John Kelly told Democrats some of Trump's campaign stances 'uninformed'

    By Tal Kopan and Jim Acosta,

    Updated 5:47 PM ET, Wed January 17, 2018


    • Lawmakers expressed frustration with the lack of progress on immigration
    • There were several emotional moments in the meeting with White House chief of staff

    (CNN)White House chief of staff John Kelly told Democratic lawmakers Wednesday that some of President Donald Trump's positions as a candidate on the border wall were "uninformed," sources told CNN.

    Rep. Ruben Gallego confirmed the comment to CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room."

    "Yes, we heard him say that," the Arizona Democrat said.

    A source familiar with Kelly's comments in the closed-door meeting with Democrats and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus told CNN that Kelly said he has worked to educate the President and move him away from his campaign promises.

    Another source in the room with access to notes from the meeting told CNN that Kelly was talking about the difference between campaign speech and actual policy, saying, "You make campaign promises but then you learn the reality of governing, which is difficult."

    The wall comments, Kelly said, were just "not fully informed" during the campaign.

    The "uninformed" comment was first reported by The Washington Post.

    No new proposal from White House

    Lawmakers described the meeting as "positive" but also mostly a "rehash" of where both sides stand on stalled immigration talks.

    The packed meeting with Kelly, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer and key Hispanic Democrats lasted an hour, and was "cordial," according to Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, a Nevada Democrat.

    Kelly did not bring a new proposal from the White House on immigration, Rep. Luis Guiterrez, D-Illinois, said, calling it "unfortunate."

    Democrats have been pushing for a solution for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, which protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children and which President Donald Trump is ending, before they vote for government funding.

    Last week, Trump rejected a bipartisan proposal from senators that would have done so, in a meeting where he used vulgar language to refer to certain countries.

    The infamous "shithole countries" remark didn't come up in Wednesday's meeting, lawmakers said, as the conversation focused on the narrow DACA fix Democrats would like to see and the White House's priorities for a deal.

    "He called the meeting to listen, is how he framed it," Rep. Pete Aguilar of California said of Kelly.

    Hispanic Caucus members said they were surprised Kelly said he was unfamiliar with a bipartisan bill Aguilar worked on with Texas Republican Rep. Will Hurd, and Aguilar said White House legislative director Marc Short, who was also in the meeting, has been informed about the bill.

    Kelly said he would look into it.

    "Gen. Kelly indicated that the President is motivated to have a fix," CHC Chairwoman Michelle Lujan Grisham said. "He didn't say he'd sign the bill, but he definitely indicated there would be positive review."

    Gutierrez said he took notes on what Kelly said, quoting Kelly: "If this is the best we can do, the President will sign it."

    Frustration remains

    Still, lawmakers expressed frustration with the lack of progress.
    Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva said the meeting was a "rehash" of old meetings, with the same talking points and positions.
    New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez said it was a "regurgitation" of both sides and the administration is too fixated on the border.

    "We had a cordial conversation but we don't need a cordial conversation, we need a substantive one," he said.
    Part of the group that negotiated the Senate compromise, Menendez said the administration's position on a deal is a "continuously moving" target and "it continuously expands."
    Both men said DACA recipients were being "held hostage" to extract concessions.

    Two emotional moments

    Two moments in the Kelly meeting that were more emotional than the rest of the cordial conversation, a source in the room said.

    At one point, things got a bit tense when Kelly used the term "chain migration" and Rep. Linda Sanchez confronted him, saying that's a term considered offensive and the issue is actually family reunification.

    "Please don't use that term," she said.

    Kelly didn't apologize or discuss it further but took it in, and later in the meeting acknowledged the term is disputed when discussing the issue.

    Apology from Gutierrez

    The source also said Gutierrez took a moment to say, noting he wanted to say it in front of colleagues, that he wanted to acknowledge in the past he got heated and used words he shouldn't have, a reference to past comments he made about Kelly and his military service. Kelly made a joke about having done so as well and it was positive, the source said.

    On the House floor in September, Gutierrez said: "General Kelly, when he was the head of Homeland Security, lied straight to the faces of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus about preventing the mass deportation of (DACA recipients). ... General Kelly is a hypocrite who is a disgrace to the uniform he used to wear."
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 01-17-2018 at 07:55 PM.
    Jeremiah 29:11 - It is written, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    We can't have someone serving the President as Chief of Staff, going on national television lying about the President and his knowledge, let alone lying to Democrats in Congress about it. Trump said during the campaign, the wall would be 1,000 miles, not 2,000 miles. Kelly apparently doesn't know this, because he wasn't part of the campaign or even following the campaign. I suspect Kelly was a Hillary Shrill. UGH!!
    Last edited by Judy; 01-17-2018 at 07:50 PM.
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  3. #3
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    And to make the words " chain migration" mean something else is ridiculous. This seems to be a new tactic that democrats will use.
    Judy likes this.
    Jeremiah 29:11 - It is written, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

  4. #4
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Kelly is not the right person to be over in Congress speaking for you on any issue, and most certainly not this one.

    Mr. President, tomfoolery and treachery are afoot .... WALK AWAY, no DACA, no AMNESTY, no BLACKMAIL.
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Kelly calls some of Trump’s campaign pledges on immigration, wall ‘uninformed,’ meeting attendees say

    By Ed O'Keefe
    January 17, 2018

    President Trump’s chief of staff, John F. Kelly, has brought discipline to the White House, sometimes to the frustration of Trump.

    White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly told Democratic lawmakers Wednesday that Mexico will never pay for a wall built by the United States along the entire stretch of the U.S.-Mexico border and that some of President Trump’s campaign promises on immigration were “uninformed,” according to lawmakers who attended the meeting.

    The remarks put Kelly at odds with Trump, who has repeatedly vowed to build a border wall that would be paid for by Mexico rather than U.S. taxpayers. Kelly’s statements also add to the mixed signals on immigration sent by the White House in the months since Trump announced the end of an Obama-era program protecting young immigrant “dreamers” in September.

    Democrats and Republicans have warned in recent days that Trump is not clearly stating what he wants as part of a deal to replace the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program and bolster security along the U.S.-Mexico border.

    Kelly’s comments were made in a closed-door session at the U.S. Capitol with members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.). This account of the meeting is based on notes taken by two lawmakers in the room that were confirmed by two additional lawmakers in the room and one senior aide in attendance.

    In a recent interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said that Mexico would pay for the wall through the North American Free Trade Agreement. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, who succeeded Kelly in the role, did not answer questions at a Senate hearing on Tuesday about whether the administration has a plan for Mexico to pay for the wall’s construction.

    [For Latino Democrats, fight for ‘dreamers’ underscores tense relationship with John Kelly]

    In his fourth face-to-face meeting with members of the Hispanic Caucus, Kelly repeatedly said that Trump supports enacting permanent legal protections for “dreamers” and that he has helped the president evolve on immigration policy. But the meeting ended with no resolution to what exactly the administration wants in exchange for authorizing permanent legal protections for the at least 690,000 people enrolled in the program, according to several attendees.

    “The president is committed to a permanent solution to DACA,” Kelly told the meeting.

    White House aides did not return requests for comment. In an interview with Fox News Wednesday evening, Kelly confirmed his comments, saying that “there’s been an evolutionary process that this president has gone through” on immigration policy.
    “He has evolved in the way he looks at things. Campaign to governing are two different things and this president has been very flexible in terms of what’s in the realm of the possible,” Kelly told Fox.

    President Trump says any deal that Congress reaches about immigration issues has “got to include the wall” that he’s pledged to build on the southern border.

    As the meeting began, Kelly said he had asked to meet with the group at the urging of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who has been in frequent contact with Kelly over the last several months and told him that the group is critical to reaching a deal.

    Hoyer told Kelly later that the views expressed by lawmakers in the room represent “the will of the Democratic Caucus” — a reminder that House Democrats overwhelmingly support protecting dreamers and strongly oppose Trump’s calls for stricter border protections.

    Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), who chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, also attended the meeting.

    In a bid to assure the group that he understands their concerns, Kelly said that Hispanic Caucus members should be grateful that DACA wasn’t ended immediately in September when Trump set a six-month expiration date for the program.

    “I worked to get the six-month extension of DACA. I ordered that. I managed that. And everyone has thanked me for that,” he told the group.

    Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), the original sponsor of the Dream Act that would permanently legalize at least 690,000 dreamers, asked Kelly to clarify Trump’s definition of a border wall.

    “Certain things are said during the campaign that are uninformed,” Kelly said.

    “One thing is to campaign, another thing is to govern. It’s really hard,” he added later.

    “A concrete wall from sea to shining sea” is not going to happen, Kelly said. Instead, “a physical barrier in many places” is what the administration is requesting. Kelly used the term “physical barrier” several times during the meeting, attendees said.

    “Concrete wall is not a realistic solution in many places,” Kelly said — noting that topography, among other issues, makes building a physical wall difficult along certain parts of the more than 2,100 miles between the United States and Mexico.

    Instead, “we need 700 more miles of barrier,” Kelly said — a concession that a physical barrier does not need to stretch the entire length of the border.

    “Concrete wall would be good in only certain places,” he added, saying that manpower and drone technology should suffice in some parts.

    Kelly also said that there will be no wall “that Mexico will pay for.”

    In the Fox interview, Kelly said that the administration is pursuing ways to reap funding for wall construction through the renegotiation of NAFTA.

    “In one way or another, it’s possible that we could get the revenue from Mexico, but not directly from their government.”

    After serving as homeland security secretary and commander of U.S. military forces in Latin America, Kelly told lawmakers that he has helped Trump “evolve on issues of the wall.”

    “I had a lot to do with that,” he said of Trump’s change in position regarding border security.

    “He campaigned against DACA,” Kelly said of Trump, but since then, “he’s lightened up.”

    Kelly and Nielsen have been privately complaining about Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall as ill-advised since their early days in the administration, when Kelly was homeland security secretary and Nielsen was his senior adviser, according to a person familiar with their discussions.

    During the meeting, Kelly said that the Trump administration continues pushing for more border security in part because cartels are still successfully transporting illegal drugs across the Mexican border.

    “Drug cartels will always find a way to get their drugs in so long as there’s demand in the U.S.,” Kelly said. He then added that leaders of drug cartels “are very smart and good businessmen.”

    That comment piqued the interest of several lawmakers in attendance, who said later that they found it odd that Kelly would credit cartel leaders who often authorize murders as smart or good businessmen.

    As the conversation continued, Hispanic Caucus members asked Kelly for his assessment of a bipartisan plan brokered by Sens. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and others. One Democrat in the room told Kelly that Graham has secured the support of at least 10 Republican senators — a sign that the plan might succeed.

    But Kelly seemed unimpressed by the deal, attendees said, telling the group that Graham and Durbin have always agreed on immigration matters. What would be more impressive, Kelly suggested, is if Hispanic Caucus members worked with conservatives like Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee who introduced a conservative proposal on immigration reform last week.

    Aides to Graham did not respond to requests for comment about how many GOP senators are co-sponsoring the immigration plan. But Durbin told reporters Wednesday that at least six Republicans will publicly co-sponsor their plan once it is formally introduced as legislation.

    Hispanic Caucus members asked Kelly what he thought of another bipartisan deal introduced Tuesday by Reps. Will Hurd (R-Tex.), Pete Aguilar (D-Calif.) and other members. The measure would provide legal protections for dreamers and authorize funding for border security that would be a mix of wall, fencing, security technology and more manpower.

    Kelly said he knew nothing about the bill — a comment that stunned some attendees, because Hurd and Aguilar have spent weeks amassing 50 original co-sponsors from both parties.

    Emerging from the meeting, Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) described the exchange as “a regurgitation of both sides, but I didn’t get a sense that the administration has a clear bottom line that gets us to where we need to be.”

    Rep. Adriano Espaillat (D-N.Y.) added that after weeks of believing that Congress must pass a stand-alone bill that legalizes the status of dreamers, the Hispanic Caucus now supports bipartisan plans to formalize their status and enact changes in border security. The new proposal by Hurd and Aguilar and the bipartisan deal brokered by senators “are the two pathways that we feel are probable to resolving these issues.”

    Once the issue of dreamers and border security is resolved, Kelly said during the meeting, he expects the administration and Congress to work together on the future of people with temporary protected status. In recent weeks, the administration has announced the end of temporary protections for hundreds of thousands of people from El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua who are living in the United States after natural disasters or violence in those countries.

    But Kelly’s comments signaled to members present in the room that Kelly doesn’t fully comprehend how TPS works.

    “We have to figure out who the heck is still here,” Kelly said. “Where are the great Central Americans? How many of them are dead? How many of them went back?”

    People living in the United States with TPS must register with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and provide basic information on their place of residence, and marital and employment status. But they are not required to check in regularly with the agency to update their status or if they are moving back to their home country.

    As the meeting ended, one longtime Hispanic Caucus member sought to make peace with Kelly.

    Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.), a vocal opponent of Trump and outspoken proponent of comprehensive immigration reform, apologized directly to Kelly for comments he made in the fall.

    In several appearances and interviews, Gutierrez called the former Marine general “mean,” a “hypocrite” and “a disgrace to the uniform he used to wear” because he supported the end of DACA.

    Seated next to Kelly, Gutierrez apologized, and Kelly accepted the apology.
    Last edited by GeorgiaPeach; 01-17-2018 at 08:08 PM.
    Jeremiah 29:11 - It is written, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

  6. #6
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Oh my Lord, Kelly is a pushover, a back-stabber. He has no clue what he's doing or why other than trying to puff himself up. Good grief. He's gotta go!!! Reassign or send him packing.
    Beezer likes this.
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  7. #7
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    It General Kelly going to work on permanent status for those with TPS? This man is not following an "America First" agenda. He is one who pushed for alterations to countries in travel ban, too.
    Judy and Beezer like this.
    Jeremiah 29:11 - It is written, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

  8. #8
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Yeah, Kelly has definitely got to go. Anyone who would say what he said on Fox tonight and what he told the Democrats in Congress can not work in the White House for President Trump. Kelly has got to go. Now.
    Beezer likes this.
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  9. #9
    Super Moderator GeorgiaPeach's Avatar
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    Related: Video Interview with John Kelly at Link.
    Judy likes this.
    Jeremiah 29:11 - It is written, "For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

  10. #10
    Senior Member Beezer's Avatar
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    Judy, GeorgiaPeach and artist like this.

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