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Trump says he didn’t tell Republicans to back an immigration bill. He definitely did.

The tweet is still up.

President Donald Trump speaks on immigration issues while meeting with members of Congress at the White House on June 20.
President Donald Trump speaks on immigration issues while meeting with members of Congress at the White House on June 20.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

After Congress failed to pass a pair of immigration bills in recent weeks, President Donald Trump over the weekend tweeted that he had “never pushed” House Republicans to support either of them. Except that he definitely did, in a different tweet, three days prior.

“I never pushed the Republicans in the House to vote for the Immigration Bill, either GOODLATTE 1 or 2, because it could never have gotten enough Democrats as long as there is the 60 vote threshold,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “I released many prior to the vote knowing we need more Republicans to win in Nov.”

On the Wednesday prior, Trump had been singing a different tune. He tweeted, in all caps, “HOUSE REPUBLICANS SHOULD PASS THE STRONG BUT FAIR IMMIGRATION BILL, KNOWN AS GOODLATTE II, IN THEIR AFTERNOON VOTE TODAY, EVEN THOUGH THE DEMS WON’T LET IT PASS IN THE SENATE. PASSAGE WILL SHOW THAT WE WANT STRONG BORDERS & SECURITY WHILE THE DEMS WANT OPEN BORDERS = CRIME. WIN!”

That same day the House rejected the legislation in a 121-301 vote. All the Democrats voted against it as did 112 Republicans.

The bill that Trump called “Goodlatte II” was a Republican-backed immigration bill that was a compromise reached between conservative and moderate members of the House. After its hardline predecessor, “Goodlatte I,” was rejected 193 to 231 in the House, Republican leaders twice delayed the vote on the slightly more moderate version, hoping to gain more GOP support.

Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced the conservative first bill and was a lead negotiator on the second bill, which was also far to the right in its approach. Vox’s Tara Golshan wrote a full explainer of the “compromise” bill, Goodlatte II, and its failure in the House.

Trump’s not even trying to be sneaky here

The president’s declaration that he had never urged Republicans to support either of the Goodlatte bills immediately raised eyebrows, especially since it’s something so easy to fact-check. The tweet telling legislators to pass a bill is still there. You can see it.

But Trump started to walk back his push for the compromise bill almost as soon as it failed. When asked by reporters about the legislation’s failure last Wednesday during a press conference with Portugal’s president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, Trump said he desired that Republican lawmakers “do what they wanted.”

Trump commented, “You know, the problem we have — and I told them this morning, I said, ‘Hey, pass it, if you can.’” The president added, “But I also want them to do what they want. We have a big immigration bill, like everybody does — like you’re talking and everybody talks about immigration now, I think, more than ever before.”

He had sent the all-caps tweet just hours earlier.