President Donald Trump’s attempt to convince people that he’s a “stable genius” is off to a rough start.
On Tuesday, Trump spontaneously invited reporters to sit in on a 55-minute meeting on immigration with congressional lawmakers from both parties. In the wake of Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program by March, legislators have been scrambling to find a way to allow child immigrants who entered the U.S. without authorization — known as “Dreamers" — to stay in the country.
The only problem? Trump apparently can’t stick to his own talking points.
“What about a clean DACA bill now, with a commitment that we go into a comprehensive reform procedure?” California Sen. Dianne Feinstein asked the president. A “clean DACA bill” would protect Dreamers’ ability to stay in the country, without Republican-supported provisions such as increased border enforcement or money for Trump’s wall.
“Would you be agreeable to that?” the veteran Democratic senator pressed.
Trump replied, “Yeah, I would like — I would like to do that.”
That prospect immediately alarmed Republicans in the room. California Rep. Kevin McCarthy leapt in to ask Trump “to be clear though” and remind him that “we have to have security.”
It also, apparently, alarmed the White House, which released a transcript of the meeting — sans Trump's comment, as the Washington Post noted.
A White House official told the Post that the oversight, which has since been corrected in the official transcript, was unintentional. According to CNN, the meeting’s stenographer missed the line because too many people were talking at once.
This is not, however, the first time a White House transcript — which reporters and historians frequently consult — has been altered. During Anthony Scaramucci’s 11-day tenure as White House communications director, he said that Trump was capable of sinking “3-foot putts.” But in the transcript, New York Magazine pointed out, Scaramucci was quoted as saying that Trump can perform “30-foot putts.”