本帖由 ccc 于 2017-08-02 发布。版面名称：渥太华华人论坛
Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump appeared to contradict himself multiple times in a meeting on immigration with a bipartisan group of lawmakers Tuesday -- a reflection of growing frustration from Capitol Hill about the lack of direction from the White House on the issue.
The President at times suggested he would be looking to sign everything from a stand-alone fix for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program -- set to expire in March -- to comprehensive immigration reform, often appearing to being guided by lawmakers in the room to modify his positions.
The comments came during a nearly hour-long conversation between the roughly two dozen lawmakers, the President and White House staff that the press was allowed to record -- a window into the difficult negotiations that still surround the issue of replacing DACA, which protected young undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children from deportation, and border security.
At the end of the session, Trump suggested that ultimately, he would sign whatever he was presented with.
"I think my positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with," Trump said. "If they come to me with things I'm not in love with, I'm going to do it. Because I respect them."
Sens. Jeff Flake and James Lankford after the meeting both said the meeting was surprisingly helpful and they appreciated the President adding some clarity to the discussions, while noting hammering out the details remains to be worked out.
Lankford acknowledged that the meeting got "confusing," saying though Trump at the beginning defined "DACA" as a deal that included DACA plus border security and two other areas of reform, it was unclear during some parts of the meeting.
"It got confusing at times, in fact he said later, 'I just want a clean DACA and we'll do a comprehensive later,' and some of us said, 'Whoa, what do you mean by that?' And he came back to those four items," the Oklahoma Republican told reporters afterward.
The White House declared the meeting a success in a statement released Tuesday afternoon.
"President Donald J. Trump just concluded a successful bipartisan and bicameral meeting on immigration reform," press secretary Sarah Sanders said in the statement. "During the closed-door portion of the meeting, they reached an agreement to negotiate legislation that accomplishes critically needed reforms in four high-priority areas: border security, chain migration, the visa lottery, and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy."
Asked during the White House briefing by CNN's Jim Acosta whether Trump is demanding border wall funding in exchange for a DACA deal, Sanders would only say: "The President wants border security."
Pressed again repeatedly, Sanders again insisted Trump wants "border security" funding -- but would not commit to the wall.
Trump's equivocation was the opposite of what lawmakers have long sought from the President. Republicans especially have pushed for the administration to draw clear lines around what would be a doable deal, giving them cover with the base to compromise and giving them leverage with Democrats to move the debate forward.
Asked if Tuesday provided the clarity that lawmakers have been asking for, Lankford said there was still more to be done.
"Oh no, there's still some room to go on it," he said. "They're continuing to get more and more clear on what they're putting out, we're getting closer and closer."
Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn made the point directly to Trump during the meeting, saying that House Speaker Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell both told the President at a legislative retreat with Republicans over the weekend that only a bill with Trump's support would move forward for a vote.
"So, that's I think the picture that we need to be looking through, the lens we need to be looking through, not only what can we agree to among ourselves on a bipartisan basis, but what will you sign into law," Cornyn said. "Because we all want to get to a solution here and we realize the clock is ticking."
But details in the meeting were still hard to come by.
At one point, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat, suggested to Trump that Congress could pass the "Dream Act" alone, which would provide a path to citizenship for DACA recipients and which has been Democrats' starting point demand, and then turn to comprehensive reform.
When Trump indicated he would agree to that, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said border security would have to be part of the package, prompting Trump to say that's what he thought Feinstein meant, and then a flurry of clarifications.
Trump said his version of a "clean" deal would include DACA, border security, ending "chain migration" or family-based migration, and ending the diversity visa lottery. But those issues are commonly thought to only be achievable in a comprehensive immigration deal.
Trump then both endorsed doing comprehensive immigration reform sooner and later.
Lawmakers working on a DACA deal have long fought to keep the bill narrow, saying adding more into it would only make it collapse under its own weight.
Trump said he would "take the heat" if lawmakers wanted to move toward comprehensive immigration reform, saying they were "not that far away" from it.
But then a few minutes later, Trump said DACA could come first and reform could come down the road, or immediately after.
"I think what we are all saying is we'll do DACA and we can certainly start comprehensive immigration reform the following afternoon, OK?" Trump said. "We'll take an hour off and start. I do believe that. Because once we get DACA done if it's done properly with security and everything else, if it's done properly, we have taken a big chunk of comprehensive out of the negotiations. I don't think it's going to be that complicated."
Since Trump decided to end DACA in September, lawmakers have been working to find a deal on the issue. The Tuesday meeting came ahead of a January 19 government funding deadline that Democrats are pushing to include DACA and a host of other issues.
Washington (CNN) White House aides have been told to decide before the end of January whether they intend to leave the administration or stay through the November midterm elections, an official said, a deadline intended to help bring a sense of order to an anticipated staffing exodus.
President Donald Trump is finding it difficult to recruit staff to fill the vacancies, several people close to the West Wing say, as he faces the second year of his administration with daunting political odds and an ongoing Russia investigation.
In recent months, top advisers on foreign and domestic policy have announced their departures. Additional aides are expected to make their exit in the coming weeks. Chief of staff John Kelly has embarked upon an effort to fill the ranks by the end of January. But the absence of willing and qualified replacements, paired with a lengthy hiring process, make it unlikely he'll reach that goal.
Kelly has been trying to take the reins of staffing in the West Wing since his elevation last summer. But the task has taken on heightened urgency.
"Kelly is eating bullets every day by himself and doesn't have a lot of help," said one person familiar with the personnel situation. "He needs reinforcements."
Dina Powell to leave the White House
While a revolving door is common in any administration, people who work inside the White House with previous West Wing experience say the exhaustion is magnified remarkably under Trump. The unpredictability and chaos, along with a fear of costly legal fees in the wake of the Russia investigation, have added to the fatigue.
"It's been a year, but doesn't it feel like a decade?" a senior administration official said, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive nature of the personnel shifts.
Several of Trump's top advisers are still weighing whether to leave the administration at the one-year mark. Others appear likely to depart in the coming weeks.
Two of the most senior officials who are on the potential departure list are Don McGahn, the White House counsel, and HR McMaster, the national security adviser. The President, like with many of his advisers, has aired frustrations openly with both men. But it's far from certain whether either official will leave.
McGahn, who is a potential witness in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation, has compelling legal reasons to stay at the White House, a person familiar with the matter said, despite the President's level of satisfaction.
McMaster, an active duty three-star Army general, served as a commandeering influence in the West Wing. But he has clashed with Trump over policy in Afghanistan and Iran.
The White House did not respond to a CNN request for comment.
2018-01-10 06:47:33 来源： 新华网
Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large
Updated 8:46 AM ET, Wed January 10, 2018
(CNN)In the course of President Donald Trump's 55-minute public meeting with the top Democratic and Republican leaders in Congress on Tuesday, he said lots -- and lots -- of things. ("I hope we've given you enough material," Trump told reporters at one point. "That should cover you for about two weeks.")
But, one line amid all of those sentences stood out to me. It's this one -- on Trump's own beliefs when it comes to immigration policy:
"I think my positions are going to be what the people in this room come up with."
Consider that for a moment.
No issue more defined Trump's candidacy than immigration. Very early on in the 2016 race, he identified the anger and frustration within the Republican base about the government's policies toward undocumented immigrants. His pledge to build a "big" and "beautiful" wall along the country's southern border -- and to make Mexico pay for it! -- was the foundation on which his campaign (and its appeal) was built. It was the cornerstone.
And yet, in a meeting with all of the top congressional leaders in both parties, Trump made very clear that he was pretty much good with whatever they came up with on immigration. His position on how to balance border security, funding for the wall (more of a fence, Trump clarified Tuesday, and broken up with natural barriers like rivers) and the extension of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program would be entirely dictated by what sort of deal they cut.
"I'm signing it," Trump pledged at one point in the meeting about a -- really, any -- possible legislative deal. "I mean, I will be signing it." At another, he assured lawmakers "if they come to me with things I'm not in love with, I'm going to do it."
The Trump on display on Tuesday seems irreconcilable with the Trump from the 2016 campaign or most of his first year in the White House. He portrayed himself in the campaign as someone with a rigid -- and totally un-PC -- belief system, willing to speak hard truths and stick by them even amid backlash. And yet, on Tuesday, he cast himself as a sort of un-partisan deal-maker -- more interested in getting to "yes" than standing on some sort of principle.
Which side represents the real Trump? The cop-out answer is "both" -- and I do think there's some truth to that. Trump has proven himself throughout his life to be hugely mercurial and unpredictable. What he says today -- or even how he acts -- isn't predictive of what he will say or do tomorrow. He believes there is considerable value in keeping people on their toes, never truly knowing what he is thinking.
That said, I do think that the long arc of Trump's life suggests that he, in his perfect world, would be a sort of unideological deal-maker. He fashions himself -- and always has -- as someone uniquely able to make deals.
"I never get too attached to one deal or one approach," Trump wrote in "The Art of the Deal." "For starters, I keep a lot of balls in the air, because most deals fall out, no matter how promising they seem at first."
My strong suspicion is that Trump views policy-making in a very similar light. The details of a policy aren't a huge deal to him -- hence his lack of specific policy knowledge. One example: On Tuesday, Trump seemed to agree with California Sen. Dianne Feinstein that a "clean" DACA bill be passed, meaning without any border security funding attached. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, had to quickly step in to clarify before Trump blundered into a deal that most Republicans in Congress object to.
To be clear: All politicians have fungible beliefs on most issues -- particularly those that get to the level where they can be considered credible candidates for president. Moving up the political ladder often necessitates a series of compromises.
But, almost all politicians also have some policy area where they are unwilling to compromise -- an area untouched (or at least unchanged by) political concerns. The best recent(ish) example of that is John McCain's support for a surge of troops in Iraq in 2007, a move that was politically unpopular at the time but McCain believed was the right thing to do.
What seems to distinguish Trump from most politicians is that there is no obvious issue on which he has a set of beliefs that he considers sacrosanct. There isn't any area where Trump thinks a deal or a compromise isn't possible. The deal is the thing, not the policies that make up the deal.
That's something different than we've seen in the Oval Office before. But, when it comes to Trump, what else is new?
(CNN) For the first time since November -- in Vietnam! -- President Trump will talk to the full White House press corps today. He'll be alongside the Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg and, if tradition holds, the politicians will each take two questions from both the US and foreign press.
From the ongoing discussions over an immigration deal that would save the DACA program and begin to fund Trump's much-ballyhooed border wall to his high profile feud with one-time ally Steve Bannon to his attack on Sen. Dianne Feinstein ("Sneaky Dianne," Trump called her in a tweet Wednesday morning) to his latest insistence that the Russia investigation is a "witch hunt" (also via Twitter), there's a lot to talk about.
Here are 5 questions I hope get asked in some way, shape or form.
1. "You keep saying that there was no collusion between your campaign and the Russians. Have you been told that's the finding of either the special counsel or the congressional investigations exploring Russia's involvement in the election? If not, what are you basing your collusion conclusion on?"
In his tweet Wednesday morning, Trump insisted -- for roughly the billionth time -- that "there was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, & yet on and on it goes." But, simply repeating that line ad infinitum doesn't make it any more true.
The simple fact is that neither Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation nor the Congressional investigations in the House and Senate have concluded their processes. Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr said the question of collusion remained "open" when he updated reporters on the progress of the investigation last October.
2. "In a tweet on Wednesday, you described the Russia investigations as a 'witch hunt'. To carry that analogy forward, who, exactly, is hunting you?"
Here's the reality: Republicans are in charge of Congress, which means that Republicans are in charge of the committees in the House and Senate tasked with investigating Russia's attempted meddling in the 2016 election. The Trump Justice Department decided that a special counsel needed to be named to deal with the Russia investigation and that Mueller should be the person to lead it. Yes, the same Mueller who was appointed FBI director by President George W. Bush, a Republican.
Given all of that, how is this all a "witch hunt"? Is Trump saying his own party is out to get him through a series of trumped-up allegations they know aren't true?
3. When you say "border security" must be included in any DACA deal, what specifically do you mean? In terms of dollars."
The White House has requested $18 billion for the construction of the border wall. There's no way Trump gets all of that money in exchange for a deal to extend the DACA program. But, is there an amount below which -- $1 billion? $5 billion? -- Trump would reject any sort of deal, a move that could end DACA and even lead to a government shutdown? Trump has backed down on previous threats for wall funding in the face of a potential shutdown and declared victory anyway. He may do so again but it's worth trying to pin him down on ANY specifics about funding for the wall so we compare that expectation with the reality that comes out of Congress.
4. "In the past 48 hours, 2 Republicans in swing seats called it quits. How much of those decisions have to do with your low approval ratings?"
With California Reps. Darrell Issa and Ed Royce announcing their retirement plans over the last two days, there are now 32 House Republicans bowing out in 2018 as compared to just 15 Democrats. More important than that, almost 20% of the 23 Republicans who represent seats won by Hillary Clinton in 2016 are retiring or running for another office.
Those decisions are heavily influenced by the fact that the history of midterm elections when the president's approval is below 50% is absolutely terrifying for his party. Since 1962, the average seat loss for the president's party in this situation is 40 seats -- well more than the 24 Democrats need to win back the majority.
Midterm elections, at least in recent years, have been referendums on the president of the United States. If Trump believes this one won't be, why does he think that -- and has he shared it with the Republicans retiring this fall?
5. "On Tuesday, you said politics had grown too nasty. Today you described a sitting US Senator by the nickname 'Sneaky Dianne.' How do you reconcile those two things?"
One of the keys to understanding Trump is that what he says on any given day should not be taken as indicative of what he will say the following day. There is no pivot. There is no Trump 2.0. There is no narrative arc of the presidency beyond his whims -- and the tweets and pronouncements that spiral from them.
In Trump's mind then there is nothing at all contradictory about a 55-minute public jaw session on Tuesday in which he decried the nastiness of politics and talked up his commitment to changing things and a Wednesday tweet running down California Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, as "sneaky."
But, it's well worth asking Trump about that obvious contradiction in his own behavior -- if only to see how he explains it (to himself and to reporters.)
Washington (CNN) President Donald Trump refused for the second time in the last week to say whether he would be willing to be interviewed by the investigative team led by special counsel Robert Mueller.
"We'll see what happens," Trump said Wednesday while taking questions alongside Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg.
Pressed again, Trump crossed his arms and said: "When they have no collusion and nobody has found any collusion at any level, it seems unlikely that you'd even have an interview."
Dodging the question, Trump instead offered up criticism of the allegations of collusion between his 2016 presidential campaign and Russia -- insisting there has been "no collusion" -- and also criticized the investigations that have ensued, which Trump called "a Democrat hoax."
"For 11 months, we've had this phony cloud over this administration," Trump said.
Trump's response Wednesday comes as his lawyers are discussing how they will respond to an interview request from Mueller, which the President's attorneys are anticipating. Trump's attorneys are looking for ways to limit the President's exposure, including requesting Mueller abide by certain parameters for the interview.
Despite dodging questions this week about his willingness to be interviewed by the special counsel, Trump said in June that he was "100%" willing to testify under oath about his conversations with James Comey, the FBI director he fired.
Earlier Wednesday, Trump slammed the various investigations focused on the allegations of collusion between his campaign and the Russian government.
"The single greatest Witch Hunt in American history continues. There was no collusion, everybody including the Dems knows there was no collusion, & yet on and on it goes," Trump tweeted Wednesday. "Russia & the world is laughing at the stupidity they are witnessing. Republicans should finally take control!"
The special counsel and congressional committees investigating the matter have yet to reach a conclusion about whether any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia took place.
This was Trump's first time before reporters since his public, freewheeling immigration negotiation with Republican and Democratic lawmakers on Tuesday. The President used the bipartisan meeting before television cameras to express his eagerness to tackle comprehensive immigration reform after agreeing to a legislative fix on DACA -- signaling a break with his hard-line position on illegal immigration.
Trump, asked Wednesday about his comments, said that any immigration deal "has got to include the wall."
"No. No. No. It has got to include the wall. We need the wall for security. We need the wall for safety. We need the wall for stopping the drugs from coming in," Trump said when asked if he would sign a bill that didn't include funding for the wall.
Trump's meetings Wednesday with Solberg also shined a spotlight on his calls for NATO members to increase their defense spending. Along with most of the alliance's members, Norway has failed to spend 2% of its GDP on defense as outlined in the alliance's guidelines.
Still, like other US allies who share a border with Russia, Norway has been a critical US partner in guarding against Russian aggression, and relations between Norway and Russia have soured in recent years amid Russia's increasingly aggressive posture. Norway drew a rebuke from Russia last year after it welcomed several hundred US Marines onto a base about 900 miles from the Russian border.
Asked about comments by a US general who visited the Marines stationed in Norway and predicted "there's a war coming," Trump said he does not expect a conflict to break out in the region.
"I think we are going to have a long period of peace. I hope we do," Trump said. "That's my opinion. That's not the general's opinion. But I think my opinion counts more right now."
CNN's Dan Merica contributed to this report.
(CNN) This is a real exchange that happened between President Donald Trump and Fox News' chief White House correspondent John Roberts in a press conference with the Norwegian prime minister on Wednesday afternoon.
Roberts: "Are you open to meeting with (special counsel Robert Mueller)? Would you be willing to meet with him without condition? Or would you demand that a strict set of parameters be placed around any encounter between you and the special counsel?"
Trump: "Well, again John, there has been no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russians or Trump and Russians. No collusion. When I watch you interviewing all the people leaving their committees, I mean, the Democrats are all running for office, trying to say this that -- but bottom line, they all say there's no collusion. And there is no collusion.
"And when you talk about interviews, Hillary Clinton had an interview, where she wasn't sworn in, she wasn't given the oath, they didn't take notes, they didn't record and it was done on the 4th of July weekend. That's perhaps ridiculous and a lot of people looked upon that as being a very serious breach and it really was.
"But again I'll speak to attorneys -- I can only say this, there was absolutely no collusion. Everybody knows it. Every committee -- I've been in office now for 11 months. For 11 months, they've had this phony cloud over this administration, over our government. And it has hurt our government. It does hurt our government. It's a Democrat hoax that was brought up as an excuse for losing an election that frankly the Democrats should have won because they have such a tremendous advantage in the electoral college.
"So it was brought up for that reason. But it has been determined that there is no collusion and by virtually everybody. So we'll see what happens. We'll see what happens. I mean certainly we'll see what happens -- when they have no collusion and nobody's found any collusion at any level it seems unlikely that you'd even have an interview."
So, um, yeah. (Huge thanks to the one and only Brenna Williams for her help with that exchange.)
In case you weren't counting -- and I was -- Trump uses the exact phrase "no collusion" seven times in that answer. He goes with the alternative "nobody's found any collusion" once. Let's call it a soft eight.
For Trump, it's virtually Pavlovian. Any mention of the Russia investigation immediately elicits the phrase "no collusion." (In a 30-minute interview with The New York Times over the holidays, Trump said the words "no collusion" 16 times.)
Why? Because he has absolutely convinced himself that there is no "there" there, and that "everyone" knows it. In his answer to Roberts, he argues -- wrongly -- that a) "they all say" there is no collusion b) the whole investigation is a "Democrat hoax."
To be clear:
On Point A: Both Mueller's special counsel investigation and the congressional investigations into Russia's attempted interference in the 2016 election are ongoing. While no collusion is alleged yet, it is incorrect to assert that those investigations have definitively concluded there was no collusion.
On Point B: The congressional committees looking into the Russian matter are chaired by Republicans. The Justice Department which chose the special counsel is run by Trump's attorney general, Jeff Sessions. Mueller was appointed as FBI director by Republican President George W. Bush.
The Point: Trump is obsessed and irritated by the ongoing Russia investigations and the questions he continues to get about them. He believes he is totally innocent of any wrongdoing but, in defending himself, he relies on a script built on inferences, questionable facts and outright falsehoods.