With the U.S. now on day three of a federal shutdown, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders disputed any notion that President Donald Trump is not being clear about what he wants in any deal to reopen the government.
“The president’s been very clear … on exactly what he wants,” White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told ABC News Chief Anchor George Stephanopoulos on “Good Morning America.”
“He wants to make a deal on DACA,” the program that protects young immigrants brought illegally to the U.S. as children, Sanders said. “The fact that Democrats are trying to pretend as if that is something that we haven’t put on the table is disingenuous and a bit ridiculous.”
“First and foremost we have to reopen our government. We have to fund our government. As soon as that is done, we’re more than happy to negotiate on responsible immigration reform.”
The Senate is slated to vote today at noon to proceed on a proposal that will fund the government through Feb. 8. Democrats want agreement that if they approve the short-term fix, Congress will address immigration issues and other policy matters in the coming weeks.
Stephanopoulos pressed Sanders on how engaged Trump is in negotiations to end the shutdown. The president did not participate in any meetings over the weekend with congressional leaders.
“The president has been engaged,” the press secretary said. “I think that different circumstances call for a different type of leadership. He’s been incredibly engaged. He’s spent a lot of time on the phone.”
Sanders added that Trump has had “a lot of meetings internally with staff here in the White House. They have been going back and forth with negotiations,”