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Pelosi calls "sanctuary cities" proposal a notion "unworthy of the presidency"

Pelosi on why she's "optimistic and hopeful"
Pelosi on why she's "optimistic and hopeful" 03:36

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in response to a Washington Post report that the Trump administration had "floated" a proposal to release immigrant detainees into so-called "sanctuary cities," said she "didn't know anything about" the story, but she called the idea "just another notion that is unworthy of the presidency of the United States and disrespectful of the challenges we face as a country."

Pelosi made the remarks at a press conference in Leesburg, Virginia, concluding the annual three-day issues retreat held by House Democrats. The retreat focused on how to accomplish Democratic priorities, such as improving infrastructure and lowering drug prices, and regrouping as a conference amid public ideological divisions.

A senior White House official confirmed to CBS News on Friday, "This was just a suggestion that was floated and rejected, which ended any further discussion." However, President Trump started up the discussion again Friday with a tweet saying otherwise. "Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only," he tweeted

The revelation of the proposal came as the Trump administration has indicated it wants to implement more aggressive immigration policies after replacing top leaders at the Department of Homeland Security, including former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.

She also offered that she was willing to work with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Republican, on immigration reform. 

Pelosi also addressed Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar's controversial comments on 9/11, saying she had not yet talked to the congresswoman, but added it's her practice to "call them in before I call them out."

In an interview with "60 Minutes" correspondent Lesley Stahl which will air in full on Sunday, Pelosi said that she believes there are issues on which Democrats and Republicans can agree.

"There's always been bipartisan support for Dreamers," Pelosi said. "Bipartisan support for gun safety, bipartisan support for infrastructure."

In the "60 Minutes" interview, Pelosi also outlined how she can use her position in spite of gridlock in Congress.

"The power of the speaker is to set the agenda," Pelosi told Stahl. "We didn't have a speaker who would bring a gun bill to the floor. We didn't have a speaker who would bring a Dreamers issue to the floor. We do now. And that's a very big difference. The power of the speaker is awesome. Awesome."

Rebecca Kaplan contributed to this report.

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