June 21st, 2010
04:27 PM ET
8 years ago

Obama and Kyl: He said, he said

Sen. Jon Kyl and President Obama differ on what was said in their one-on-one Oval Office meeting.

Sen. Jon Kyl and President Obama differ on what was said in their one-on-one Oval Office meeting.

Washington (CNN) –There's no White House transcript or tape to veryify what was said in a private Oval Office meeting with President Obama, but White House Deputy Spokesman Bill Burton calls Republican Senator Jon Kyl's version of a one-on-one discussion on immigration reform, "not true."

Last Friday, at a Tea Party town hall in Arizona, the Republican Senate Whip said the President told him, "if we secure the border, then you all won't have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform." Senator Kyl was suggesting that border security was being held hostage for political reasons.

The White House fired back on its blog, on Twitter and in the daily briefing. "The president didn't say that," Burton insisted, adding, "what everybody knows, because the president has made it perfectly clear, is that what we need to do is everything that we can to bring about comprehensive immigration reform. And that includes not just securing the border, but doing a lot of different other things."

So what was said?

When asked if the White House would provide its version of the conversation, Burton responded "no."

But top aides claim President Obama's actions are proof of a comprehensive strategy. Burton ticked off steps the administration has already taken…"we've put more resources at the border than have ever been there before. The president has doubled the number of border agents who are there. We've put other surveillance systems in. "

Filed under: Immigration • Jon Kyl • President Obama
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. MatthewDetroit

    The Democrats with the first clown are a bunch of dirtbags.

    They Refuse to secure the borders.

    They CHARGE the BORDER PATROL whenever they drive onto the land. The INTERIOR DEPARTMENT is charging the office of the border patrol MILLIONS to drive on the land and to build towers.... THEY WONT EVEN LET THEM patrol certain areas because they are AFRAID of environmental groups.

    Great Job to the First CLOWN....

    Oh and nice that NOBODY wants to criticize Barack for vacationing or playing golf but they are ripping on the Execs at BP..... Hypocrites.

    June 21, 2010 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  2. Bruce

    The President made two comments during his campaign for President. First there is the Joe the plumber comment on "redistribution of wealth." Second, the President "wants a single payer health care system."

    After hearing both of those comments I fined it plausible the President did make that comment.

    As for doing more to secure the boarder. Arizona is still waiting for the 1200 troops he promised to send.

    June 21, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  3. ib

    Obama has always said anything done anything to get his agenda through. That is all he thinks about; cares about is his agenda. He doesn't care how much hardship or how many people he hurts as long as his agenda goes through.

    June 21, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  4. Larry

    President Obama wouldn't say anything that stupid, Kyl.

    What do you think he is? Republican?

    June 21, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  5. Duck Fallas

    Why are these people having tea parties, when they could be working on the oil spill?

    June 21, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  6. MatthewDetroit

    Completely True.... The Dems dont want to secure the borders....

    They only want to make every illegal legal so that they can have the vote.

    They do not care about the US or its Sovereignty....They ONLY care about political power..

    Too bad ALL politicians appear to be dirty...some more than others.

    June 21, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  7. Lynda/Minnesota

    "if we secure the border, then you all won't have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform."

    Kyl probably should have kept the *you all* bit out of his quote – would have made it sound more plausible.

    Fact is, the GOP had 8 long years to not only secure the borders, ESPECIALLY after 9/11, but bring a comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill to the floor, and yet they did, well, did nothing.

    I can relate to President Obama on having words redirected. Happened to me in another post on the Ticker just today. Cut me off during mid-post and re-named me . . . strange.

    June 21, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  8. Rickster

    My money is on Kyl.......President Pinoccio lies every time he opens his mouth.

    June 21, 2010 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  9. A mexican citizen's perspective

    Because it is an issue of federal jurisdiction, the AZ immigration law must be ruled void on its face. That being said, it is a federal dereliction of duty to not respond with productive legislation. Filing a SCOTUS brief is a waste of the government's time, the court's time, and taxpayer money. As this is an issue for congress, congress should legislate. If the fear of offending Latino voters makes immigration reform politically prohibitive, than congress has quite backwards priorities.

    ADDITIONALLY, THE LAW IS NOT RACIST at all! Only individuals stopped for a separate crime can be asked to show proof of residency. The attorney general admitted to not reading this law before commenting that it is racist in nature. Furthermore, because the law is neither discriminatory in intent nor in its impact, the language of the bill will not be held in question by the court.

    June 21, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  10. Dano

    What make anyone think that it's possible to secure the several thousand miles of US/Mexico border? If it's not possible how can it be used as a bargaining chip?

    June 21, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  11. delta9

    Republican senators are becoming as crazy as their tea party supporters.

    June 21, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  12. Naqib

    Maybe Obama was thinking about golfing... with Paul McCartney... During a campaign party.... in Hawaii... or his homeland... trying to make his wife proud...

    The mans got a lot on his mind darn it!

    June 21, 2010 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  13. harold

    so the President should work 24/ 7 and on Sundays. That is as dumb as it gets. There was no out cry about protecting our borders before Obama became President so I guess all the illegals in the Country only arrived since he took office. Blame, blame. yea,yea. Like it or not there is a new sheriff in town!

    June 21, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  14. hsmith

    If Obama were enforcing the border, then we would not have millions of aliens crossing it illegally and we would not have illegal workers and students who have been discovered by ICE and other law enforcement officers able to stay in the country on a waiver or some other legal manuever. Obama wants these people to stay in the country to add to the Democratic voting block.

    June 21, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  15. Naqib


    The Soviet Union secured half of Europe in a weekend!

    June 21, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  16. Victim of GOP Taliban

    Where were the Conservative Activists when Bush/McCain were trying to serve-up Amnesty and did NOTHING to secure the borders???

    Kyl is totally useless and has done nothing for Arizona not to mention the rest of America.

    June 21, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |

    You fools make me laugh.

    Obama is smart enough to know that you can't stop the illegals. You can only stop people from hiring them. Which won't happen because most of them are Republicans and want their cheap labor.

    So keep screaming about how "Obummer is destroying the nation." It's funny because it makes you look even dumber.

    June 21, 2010 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    A Mexican Citizen's Perspective:

    Do you include the possibility of being arrested for nodding your head - as to suggest employement opportunities - while driving your car a seperate crime?

    Because this scenario IS included in Arizona's new Immigration Law.

    June 21, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. Blink

    You know what Kyl said is true. Its the same thuggery Obama has used in most of his political advancements since his inauguration. Its sickening but true Obama has always placed his own personal agenda over the best interests of the country. To make it worse many DNC Congressman have gone along with it and that is why they will not be here come November.

    June 21, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  20. Duck Fallas

    What do Native Americans in Arizona think about immigration reform?

    June 21, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  21. Jilli

    I wouldn't believe John Kyl if he told me the sky was blue.

    Pres. Obama is smart enough to know that controlling illegal immigration is a comprehensive process, something that Kyl and the others in AZ can't seem to wrap their simple little heads around, bless their hearts.

    June 21, 2010 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  22. Katie B in NC

    I'm guessing Kyl won't be invited back for any "off the record" meetings.

    June 21, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  23. zago

    Is this one of the GRAND OIL PARTY people talking. Nothing but crap can come out.

    June 21, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  24. Kathy Corey

    I believe Kyl.

    June 21, 2010 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  25. independent

    What the President probably said was, "Senator Kyl, you know and I know that half a bill will never get passed. Just as the Republican side wouldn't accept a bill that only addresses those already in the country, a path to citizenship, and strict enforcement against businesses hiring illegals; we also can't pass a bill that only addresses fences and walls to secure the border. The Bill needs to be comprehensive, re a comprehensive compromise, in order to get passed.

    However, we already know that the Party of No does not believe in compromise.

    June 21, 2010 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
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