Trump meets with surrogates ahead of State of the Union

President Donald Trump entertained some ...

Posted: Jan 30, 2018 10:51 AM
Updated: Jan 30, 2018 10:51 AM

President Donald Trump entertained some of his most loyal surrogates at the White House on Monday ahead of his State of the Union address during a freewheeling session in which he touted the successes of his first year in office and previewed his address to Congress.

Trump also told the group of a dozen surrogates that he believes he shocked Democrats with his offer of a path to citizenship for 1.8 million "Dreamers," but expressed uncertainty about whether Democrats will be willing -- and politically able -- to reach a deal with him, two sources in the meeting said.

The sources, who requested anonymity to more candidly share Trump's comments, said the President expressed uncertainty that Democrats including Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer are willing to reach a DACA deal. Trump believes Democrats have boxed themselves in on the issue and are constrained by their liberal base, the sources said.

While Trump's proposal could give nearly 2 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship, the proposal also calls for $25 billion in funding for the wall and border security as well as strict reforms that would cut family-based immigration.

Sources who attended the meeting said the President was in a good mood, taking a victory lap as he regaled the loyalists with the successes of his first year in office. He also praised the surrogates for their defense of him on television, one source said.

"Trump is gonna take a victory lap for sure tomorrow," said Stephen Moore, a CNN contributor and pro-Trump economist who attended the session.

Moore said Trump largely focused on the economic successes of his presidency, particularly the benefits of the GOP tax bill, including the bonuses that companies have extended to employees as a result.

The attendees were a who's who of Trump loyalists and former campaign aides -- and even included the former labor secretary nominee Andy Puzder, who was forced to withdraw his nomination.

Also in attendance were Corey Lewandowski, David Bossie, Katrina Pierson, Matt Schlapp, Jack Kingston, Larry Kudlow and Paris Dennard.

White House aides Kellyanne Conway, Stephen Miller and Hope Hicks were also in the meeting and Vice President Mike Pence dropped by.

Trump did not read from specific talking points, but a goal of the meeting was to ensure that his allies were fully prepared to amplify the message of a year of successes that he is expected to tout during his State of the Union address.

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