President Donald Trump said Sunday that he will keep a “big tent” of immigrants and refugees in the United States, as he sought to tamp down criticism from his party that he is using his presidency to build a wall along the southern border.
Speaking on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Trump insisted that his administration is still moving forward with plans to secure the border and said that the border is “going to stay open” even after he leaves office.
Trump, speaking to a cheering crowd at a rally in Phoenix, Arizona, on Saturday night, vowed to keep the wall, which he says is a key part of his administration’s strategy to protect the United Kingdom from terrorism, even after leaving office.
But his remarks came as he said he will not make changes to the immigration system.
“We have the largest open border in the world, and we’re not going to be using it anymore.
That’s what I told the press, you know, we’re going to get it back to the way it was, we want to be secure,” Trump said.
“The border is going to stay secure, and I’m going to keep it secure.
I want to do that.
We have a great border, we have a very great border.
I love it.”
He also reiterated his vow to keep “a big, big, BIG tent” in the country, which has been criticized by Republicans as too small.
“The only thing that we’re doing is going back and forth,” Trump told CBS.
“We have a lot of people coming in and out.
We’re going back, we are going forward.”
Trump’s comments come after a number of high-profile Republicans said Sunday they were reconsidering a plan to secure Trump’s promised border wall.
On Sunday, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said he is no longer in favor of a wall.
And in an interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R of South Carolina, said the GOP should wait and see how Trump’s plan plays out.
“I think we need to see what the new president’s policies are,” Graham said.
Graham, who chairs the Senate Republican leadership, was joined by several other GOP lawmakers in criticizing Trump’s comments and calling for a more thorough vetting process to ensure that immigrants are not putting Americans at risk.
Trump has previously said that he would not keep the southern wall.
But he has also said that if Democrats have their way, he would build a larger, more elaborate wall.
Trump said on Friday that he was not making a “wall now” but that he plans to “make the wall bigger and better.”
Trump also repeated his claim that he did not make the border a priority in the first 100 days of his presidency.
“As I mentioned before, it’s not the priority that we had,” he said.
“It’s not because I didn’t think we had to do it.
It’s not that I don’t care about this border.
It was because I thought it was important.”
But the president said he still believes that the wall should be built and said he wants to see “what happens with the border.”
Trump, who will leave office on January 20, has promised to build the wall on the southern side of the U.S. border and have it finished by the end of 2021.
Trump’s remarks come as Democrats are mounting a series of rallies across the country in a bid to pressure Republicans to act on their campaign promise to secure border borders.
On Saturday, Democrats will hold a series in Iowa, South Carolina and Georgia in support of a proposal by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-West Virginia, to add more border agents to patrol the southern part of the border.
Democrats are hoping that the Trump administration will move forward with the proposed expansion of the Border Patrol, which would require more officers to be deployed in certain areas.
“You can have a wall, but you have to make sure the agents are there,” Manchin told CBS’s Scott Pelley.
“And the border needs to be secured.
I think that’s the right thing to do.”
Democrats have also been pushing to push the U