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President Trump told a bipartisan group of senators during a private White House meeting Thursday that he would consider backing an immigration bill like the one that the Senate passed in 2013 that provides a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants already living in the United States, according to a Senate aide who was in the meeting.

A spokesman for Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., who attended the Thursday afternoon meeting with Trump, confirmed that the president said he was open to a comprehensive immigration bill like the one the gang of eight senators wrote and passed through the Senate in 2013. The bill died in the House when it met stiff resistance from conservative Republicans.

Trump gave the reply in response to a question from Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn.

The admission from Trump would amount to a major departure on immigration from his campaign threats to repeal President Obama’s executive order allowing illegal immigrants who had arrived in the country as children to remain here legally without fear of deportation.

But Trump’s White House rejected reports that he was specifically open to the controversial bill that conservatives hated. White House spokesman Sean Spicer told a Washington Post reporter only that he was “glad to listen” to their immigration plans, but that he didn’t make any comment specific to the Gang of Eight bill.

Besides Manchin and Alexander, other senators who attended the meeting include: Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, Jon Tester of Montana, Chris Coons of Delaware, Michael Bennett of Colorado and GOP Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia.

White House: Conway 'counseled' after possible ethics violation

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“Kellyanne has been counseled and that’s all we’re going to go on,” press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters.

02/09/17 2:17 PM



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