Deal on DACA would be the ultimate test of Trump’s base

WASHINGTON — Is there a deal on DACA? Or no deal? Right now, the answer appears to be in the eye of the beholder. Last night, Democratic leaders Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi released a statement after their dinner with President Trump, saying they agreed “to enshrine the protections of DACA into law quickly, and to work out a package of border security, excluding the wall, that’s acceptable to both sides.”

But then White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders pushed back. “While DACA and border security were both discussed, excluding the wall was certainly not agreed to.” And this morning, Trump himself tweeted that “no deal was made.”

But Trump’s following tweets on the subject SURE SOUNDED like the deal that Democrats first described — “massive border security would have to be agreed to in exchange for consent”; “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”; “does anyone really want to throw out good, educated and accomplished young people…”

RELATED: A look at Trump's debt ceiling, disaster relief dealmaking with Democrats

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A look at Trump's debt ceiling, disaster relief dealmaking with Democrats
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A look at Trump's debt ceiling, disaster relief dealmaking with Democrats
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 06: (EDITORS NOTE: Retransmission with alternate crop.) U.S. Senate Minority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) (L) makes a point to President Donald Trump (2nd L) in the Oval Office as White House Director of Legislative Affairs Marc Short (R) looks on towards the end of a meeting between the President and Congressional leaders prior to President Trump's departure from the White House for a tax reform event in North Dakota September 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. President Trump has struck a deal at the meeting with Sen. Schumer and House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to fund the disaster relief for Hurricane Harvey, raise the debt ceiling for three months and keep the government open through the end of December. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with congressional leaders: House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Vice President Mike Pence, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
U.S. President Donald Trump meets with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (2nd L), Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (2nd R), House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (R) and other congressional leaders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
U.S. President Donald Trump smiles during a meeting with congressional leaders in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, U.S., September 6, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 6: Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer(D-NY), center left, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY), center right, as seen through a window of the Oval Office during a meeting with President Donald Trump, on September, 06, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 6: President Donald Trump, center left, meets with Hill leadership in the Oval Office, on September, 06, 2017 in Washington, DC. From left are House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy(R-CA), Vice President Pence, Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer(D-NY), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi(D-CA). (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 6: Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer(D-NY), center left, and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY), center right, as seen through a window of the Oval Office during a meeting with President Donald Trump, on September, 06, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 6: President Donald Trump, center left, meets with Hill leadership in the Oval Office, on September, 06, 2017 in Washington, DC. From left are Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell(R-KY), Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer(D-NY), and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi(D-CA). (Photo by Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
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Yet here is the reason why Trump striking any kind of deal on DACA will be so hard: He’s already received a tremendous amount of blowback from his base of conservatives and immigration hardliners:

  • Breitbart News: “Trump Caves On DACA, Wants ‘Quick’ Amnesty For 800K Illegal Aliens” — with the front page of the news site calling the president “Amnesty Don.”
  • Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa: “If AP is correct, Trump base is blown up, destroyed, irreparable, and disillusioned beyond repair. No promise is credible.”
  • Fox News’ Sean Hannity: “If reports true 100%. I blame R's. They caused this. They wanted him to fail and now pushed him into arms of political suicide--IF TRUE.”
  • Laura Ingraham: “THE ART OF THE STEAL: Let's hope that Pelosi & Schumer misrepresented the #DACA deal”

Immigration is an issue that the Trump base DOES care about

Do remember, while Trump has been squishy on so many policy issues — taxes, health care, Middle East intervention — he was always more consistent on immigration during the 2016 campaign. And that consistency was taking the most hardline view possible. Here’s what he told one of us in August 2015:

TODD: You'll rescind the Dream Act executive order, the DACA?

TRUMP: We have to. We have to make a whole new set of standards. And when people come in, they have to come in —

TODD: You're going to split up families. You're going to deport children?

TRUMP: Chuck — no, no. No, we're going to keep the families together. We have to keep the families together.

TODD: But you're going to kick them out?

TRUMP: They have to go.

We’re fully aware of that old line from Trump: “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.” Well, he’s going to put that loyalty to the test on DACA, if there’s ultimately a deal.

RELATED: Faces of those impacted by DACA

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Faces of those impacted by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
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Faces of those impacted by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
Paulina, 26, a DACA recipient, is comforted after watching U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program on a projection screen at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) headquarters in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 5, 2017. Paulina, a graduate of UCLA, arrived in the U.S. when she was 6 years old. She said the decision was really upsetting but she was going to continue to work to push members of Congress to enact a law to protect their rights. "We are not going to give up", she said. REUTERS/Monica Almeida
Young DACA recipients, Mario, Melanie and Luis, watch U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, on a projection screen at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) headquarters in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 5, 2017. REUTERS/Monica Almeida
Jorge-Mario Cabrera, CHIRLA spokesman and Communications Director (R), along with staff and young DACA recipients watches U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, on a projection screen at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) headquarters in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 5, 2017. REUTERS/Monica Almeida
NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 18: A family fills out an application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), at a workshop on February 18, 2015 in New York City. The immigrant advocacy group Make the Road New York holds weekly workshops to help immigrants get legal status under DACA to work in the United States. An expansion of the national program, scheduled for this week, was frozen by a ruling from a Texas federal judge. The Obama Administration plans to appeal the ruling and, if sussessful, DACA would allow legalization of up to two million immigrants who entered the United States before they were age 16. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 15: People attend an orientation class in filing up their application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles on August 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Under a new program established by the Obama administration undocumented youth who qualify for the program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, can file applications from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website to avoid deportation and obtain the right to work. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 15: Mitzi Pena, 19, (R) her sister Yaretzi Pena, 5, and her cousin Karina Terriquez, 20, (L) wait in line to receive assitance in filing up their application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles on August 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Under a new program established by the Obama administration undocumented youth who qualify for the program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, can file applications from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website to avoid deportation and obtain the right to work. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 15: People attend an orientation class in filing up their application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles on August 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Under a new program established by the Obama administration undocumented youth who qualify for the program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, can file applications from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website to avoid deportation and obtain the right to work. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Edgar Lopez shows his Employment Authorization Card, at home in Davenport, Florida, February 1, 2013. Edgar and his brother Javier are among the 1.7 million estimated illegal immigrants younger than 30 who were brought to the U.S. as children and are eligible for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. (Ricardo Ramirez Buxeda/Orlando Sentinel/MCT via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 15: Oscar Barrera Gonzalez along with a group of immigrants, known as DREAMers, hold flowers as they listen to a news conference to kick off a new program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles on August 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Under a new program established by the Obama administration undocumented youth who qualify for the program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, can file applications from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website to avoid deportation and obtain the right to work (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 15: Roberto Larios, 21, (R) holds Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival application as he waits in line with hundreds of fellow undocumanted immigrants at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles offices to apply for deportation reprieve on August 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Under a new program established by the Obama administration undocumented youth who qualify for the program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, can file applications from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website to avoid deportation and obtain the right to work (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 15: Brenda Robles, 20, (R) holds her high school diploma as she waits in line with her friends at at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles offices to apply for deportation reprieve on August 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Under a new program established by the Obama administration undocumented youth who qualify for the program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, can file applications from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website to avoid deportation and obtain the right to work (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 15: Hundreds of people line up around the block from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles offices to apply for deportation reprieve on August 15, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. Under a new program established by the Obama administration undocumented youth who qualify for the program, called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, can file applications from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website to avoid deportation and obtain the right to work (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Undocumented UCLA students Alejandra Gutierrez (L) and Miriam Gonzales attend a workshop for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in Los Angeles, California, August 15, 2012. President Barack Obama's administration announced on June 15 it would relax U.S. deportation rules so that many young illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children can stay in the country and work. The changes went into effect on Wednesday. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY IMMIGRATION)
Alan Valdivia receives assistance in filling out paperwork for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California, August 15, 2012. The U.S. government began accepting applications on Wednesday from young illegal immigrants seeking temporary legal status under relaxed deportation rules announced by the Obama administration in June. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY IMMIGRATION)
People fill out paperwork for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California, August 15, 2012. The U.S. government began accepting applications on Wednesday from young illegal immigrants seeking temporary legal status under relaxed deportation rules announced by the Obama administration in June.REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY IMMIGRATION)
Students wait in line for assistance with paperwork for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles in Los Angeles, California, August 15, 2012. The U.S. government began accepting applications on Wednesday from young illegal immigrants seeking temporary legal status under relaxed deportation rules announced by the Obama administration in June. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY IMMIGRATION)
Undocumented UCLA students prepare paperwork for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in Los Angeles, California, August 15, 2012. President Barack Obama's administration announced on June 15 it would relax U.S. deportation rules so that many young illegal immigrants who came to the United States as children can stay in the country and work. The changes went into effect on Wednesday. REUTERS/Jonathan Alcorn (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY IMMIGRATION)
Paulina, 26, a DACA recipient during U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions' announcement on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, on a projection screen at the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) headquarters in Los Angeles, California, U.S., September 5, 2017. Paulina, a graduate of UCLA, arrived in the U.S. when she was 6 years old. She said the decision was really upsetting but she was going to continue to work to push members of Congress to enact a law to protect their rights. "We are not going to give up", she said. REUTERS/Monica Almeida
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Flynn’s son is a subject in the Russia probe

From NBC’s Carol Lee, Julia Ainsley and Ken Dilanian: “Michael G. Flynn, the son of President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, is a subject of the federal investigation into Russian meddling in the presidential election and possible collusion between Moscow and the Trump campaign, according to four current and former government officials.”

“The inquiry into Flynn is focused at least in part on his work with his father's lobbying firm, Flynn Intel Group, three of the officials said. It's unclear when the focus on Flynn began.”

More: “Flynn's status as a subject of the Russia investigation widens the publicly known scope of the probe. NBC News has reported that those under investigation have included the elder Flynn and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort. Others under scrutiny by special counsel Robert Mueller include Carter Page, a Trump campaign ally; Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior White House adviser; and the president's son, Donald Trump Jr.”

And speaking of the father Flynn, here’s the Wall Street Journal: “As President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, retired Lt. Gen. Mike Flynn promoted a controversial private-sector nuclear power plan in the Middle East that had once involved Russian companies, according to former security-council staffers and others familiar with the effort.”

Trump heads to Florida

President Trump arrives in Fort Myers, Fla., at 10:40 am ET to receive a briefing on Hurricane Irma relief efforts. He then heads to Naples, Fla., at 11:40 am ET before returning back to DC. 

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