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. Jan

    This is simple, why didn't the Republicans secure the border when they were in power? Their own President tried but they killed it the Bill, now that a Democrat is in the White House they will tweste his words for their favor and now interested in doing something about the border. @MatthewDetroit do you remember the Republicans had the chance to have bring about immigration reform when they were in power. Even John McCain't was for reform then, but now he is against it. So who should be blamed for not doing enough to reform immigration in this country? Republicans or Democrates?

    June 21, 2010 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  2. a little sad

    MatthewDetroit June 21st, 2010 4:33 pm ET

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


    You do realize that it was BP, and not the White House, that is spilling the oil, right?

    June 21, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  3. Jim in Bisbee

    I would believe Senator Kyl if he said the sky was blue, but that is about it.

    I think if you can trust Jon Kyl, then who can't you trust.

    June 21, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. Victim of GOP Taliban

    I don't believe a single word out of Kyl's putrid mouth

    June 21, 2010 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  5. a little sad

    Kathy Corey June 21st, 2010 5:02 pm ET

    I believe Kyl.


    You must not live in Arizona.

    June 21, 2010 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  6. Conservative Democrat

    Again. The Grand Old Hypocrite party. What did Bush do the secure the borders? I wasn't aware that this problem started when Obama took office.

    June 21, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  7. 11Bravo20

    I guess Burton must have been there during the conversation to speak so definitively about what was said.

    June 21, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  8. Mace

    No doubt what Kyl said was true. Obama lies so effortlessly he doesn't even know he does it anymore. He sure won't secure our border and immigration reform for Obama is just a voters registration drive for the DNC – nothing more. Obama is going to have miserable next few years in office especially since he does not have the skills or experience as Clinton did to negotiate & navigate politically.

    June 21, 2010 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  9. Steve (the real one)

    Lynda/Minnesota June 21st, 2010 4:41 pm ET
    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 will admit your post is part truthful. This following is the whole truth:
    Bush- NOTHING
    The only president to do anything was Reagan, and that was just amnesty! But like it or not, this is now Obama's baby, he is in charge now, and like i've stated, he's done NOTHING,he is not alone but he is the one in charge!

    June 21, 2010 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  10. Marie MD

    @bruce – First there is the Joe the plumber comment on "redistribution of wealth." – you mean the same words that mcnasty said to a college student (circa 2000) when she asked him why her dad who is a doctor had to pay more taxes?
    The only way to keep illegals from coming to the US is not to give them jobs. They are only here to send money back home.
    No jobs, no money no illegals. Are you all ready to do your own yard work and clean your own toilets? Let's go!!!

    June 21, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  11. Terry

    Sic em John. Don't let this weasel back away from securing the border. Okay, so you didn't insist that GW do the same but I doubt anyone is keeping track.

    June 21, 2010 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  12. Mack

    Just goes to show you, every time you talk to a Republican, it needs to be taped so there is no misunderstanding as to who said what to whom!!

    June 21, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. jbb

    The only way to stop illegials is to stop the employeers from hiring them, but that will never happen, If they don't hire them and there are no jobs for them they will return home or not come at all, but since most businesses are owned by Republican's they will continue to hire.
    The hypocrites are the people who hire them for their cheep labor.

    Also Obama isn't the one who caused the spill, BP did and he has every right to have a day of golf. Bush spent more time in Crawford and at Daddy's Kinnebunkport Estate than he did at the White House and for that we're grateful!!!! Less time for him to do more damage than he did..................

    June 21, 2010 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  14. welches, oregon

    No Kathy – you 'believe' Kyle because you want to believe it and/or Rush, Faux news Hannity or their kind told you to believe Kyle.

    Now – don't you feel better just admitting that to yourself.
    It's ok, you don't have to tell it to everyone, just yourself.

    At least be honest with yourself Kathy – you'll be a much happier person.

    June 21, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  15. thor

    Well, with watergate we had tapes to prove what Nixon said.Obama is smart enough not to have his words taped.Burton is doing what he supposed to do which is to provide cover for his boss,provide no transscripts.

    June 21, 2010 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  16. welches, oregon

    Hey @ MatthewDetroit – there is an entire article on this ticker with GOP criticism of Obama taking some time off on Father's Day.

    Didn't you read it?

    June 21, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  17. Steve (the real one)

    One sure way to find out the truth... DNA, sorry. I mean a lie detector showdown on Maury!

    June 21, 2010 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  18. Lynda/Minnesota

    Steve (the real one):

    Did you not google Immigration-Obama Administration before you posted, Steve?

    Obama has been on this issue since he first took office.

    June 21, 2010 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  19. Patsy, Texas

    I've seen a lot of political campaigns, each side wanting to win, but I
    have NEVER seen anything like what is happening today. The name
    calling by Republicans, and some of the responders herem (thankfully,
    they are in the minority) truly makes me sick. There is no
    respect for OUR President, who, at least is trying to get something
    done. He may not have all of the answers, but it sure beats the likes
    of Bush/Cheney, et al, who had no answers.
    Republicans will bash him at every turn, offering no solutions, nor
    even trying to show they care about America.
    They are hysterical losers who did a lousy job for eight years.
    Now they see the damage they have done, yet STILL, they will not help
    find solutions to ease America's pain.
    So, go ahead with the name calling, but like they say, "Be careful
    what you wish for".

    June 21, 2010 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  20. Riley

    Obama was probably talking to him from the Golf Course 19th hole while planning their next vacation.

    June 21, 2010 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  21. rs

    Sorry Kyle- I am from Arizona- and know you lie! You guys the last 8 years to "Secure the Border" (whatever that means), and you didn't. Republicans see lies everywhere, because they have no sense of the reality at hand. Meanwhile you have blocked every single legislative effort put forth by the White House and challeneged and held up every appointment. The Party of No continues to show its unworthiness for leadership.

    On the golf front- for the GOP to complain about an Obama golf game after Bush (who set a record for the number of "vacation" days while in office) is too funny. Besides, who spilled the oil- Obama or Tony's BP?

    I honestly don't know what's worse- the continual petty sniping by the GOP, or that they think no one remembers the last 8 years- or their apology to Big Oil! Losers all!

    June 21, 2010 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  22. Victim of GOP Taliban

    This whole debate and activism by the Republicans is totally disingenious. America will need to SPEND LOTS and LOTS of $$$ that we don't have to have a truly secure border.

    Guess what Republicans? Nothing is free. Either spend more $ out of your own pocket in taxes / donate or shut your pieholes.

    June 21, 2010 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  23. norwalkpa

    seems bill burton has put his foot in his mouth twice in one day. first...there are plenty of Americans that think the President shouldn't of gone golfing just as much as we feel tony shouldn't of taken time off too. not just because of the huge crisis...but because a lot of us 'dads' Obama claims he's helping we're stuck working. sort of sucks having 2 part-time jobs...but the messiah blew the full time gig.

    as for this latest gaffe...just step to the mic and call Sen. Kyl a liar. but those of use w/ a mind ask ourselves...why would he lie? and if he did...wouldn't the President know exactly...'whose ass to kick?' i think Kyl is a little smarter than that...and also has more integrity in his little finger then bill or obama have put together.

    billy boy...you finally made it to the white house. bouncing from one candidate to the next until you finally landed on GO. you got your dream. now do us all a favor and try and not say anything stupid for...oh, say the next 5-minutes.

    June 21, 2010 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  24. ajax

    The only thing certain is that Obama still has not secured the border.Goes along with his pledge to close Gitmo in Jan 2010.Last time i checked it was still open.

    June 21, 2010 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  25. ThinkAgain

    The Republicans have a proven track record of lying to the American public – from WMDs in Iraq to "heckuva job, Brownie" to secret energy meetings to death panels to saying one thing and denying it in the next breath.

    Republicans have zero credibility, except with their own fearful, ignorant base.

    What a pathetic excuse for a political party the GOP has become!

    June 21, 2010 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
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