President Trump delivered remarks to the Republican National Committee's winter meeting Thursday night at Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., his second speech to members of his own party in the same day. The president's remarks come amid anticipation over the release of a controversial memo crafted by Republican staffers on the House Intelligence Committee.
apparently details abuses of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) by the Justice Department and FBI.
On Thursday night, before a friendly crowd, the president criticized Democrats and the "haters" who still watched his State of the Union address two nights earlier. The president said he is trying to push a deal on immigration, but Democrats are stonewalling on a deal over the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.
"The Democrats are AWOL. They're missing in action," Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Trump said all Democrats do is resist, taking a jab at the "resist" movement opposing him. The president also mentioned how well he thought his State of the Union address had gone Tuesday night, saying even the "haters" gave good reviews in "fake" polls.
The president's full remarks were unavailable, as reporters were escorted out of the room after less than five minutes.
But an RNC source in the room told CBS News the president also talked about his physical exam, saying he is in good health and could go on the treadmill. The president, according to the source, said he will never need hip and knee replacements.
Mr. Trump, according to the RNC source, also referred to EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt as the star of the administration. He went on to recount details of the 2016 election, claiming he lost in New Hampshire more than a year ago because of the "busing" of voters from Massachusetts, New York and Connecticut, states that all went for Hillary Clinton.
Mr. Trump also spoke to the Republicans at their, urging those present to back his immigration proposal and help elect more Republicans. The president's proposal faces an uphill battle — the most conservatives in Congress oppose it as "amnesty" for young immigrants, while many Democrats call possible future restrictions to legal immigration a non-starter.
All of the president's remarks unfold against the backdrop of the controversial memo. A White House official earlier Thursday said the public can expect the White House to tell Congress, likely on Friday, that the president is OK with the memo's release. The White House has until Saturday to object to the memo's release, which the White House has not indicated the president will do.
"I think you all know that the process is a House process, it is a congressional process," a senior White House official told reporters on Air Force One. "They (Congress) sent over the memo. We have had over the last couple days to look at it to make sure it doesn't give away too much in terms of classification. Right now, I think it will be that we tell the Congress, probably tomorrow, that the president is okay with it. I doubt there will be any redactions. Then it is in Congress' hands after that."
CBS News' Katiana Krawchenko and Kathryn Watson contributed to this report.
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