A new Washington Post report on the White House meeting last week where President Trump spoke abusively about immigrants to the US from Haiti and Africa makes two things clear:
— Congressman Goodlatte, who was at the meeting, raised no objection to Trump’s racist remarks.
— Goodlatte helped kill a bipartisan agreement on immigration that would extend protections for DACA recipients who were brought to the US illegally as children.
Trump told the group he wasn’t interested in the terms of the bipartisan deal that [Democratic Senator Dick] Durbin and [Republican Senator Lindsey] Graham had been putting together. And as he shrugged off suggestions from Durbin and others, the president called nations from Africa “shithole countries,” denigrated Haiti and grew angry. The meeting was short, tense and often dominated by loud cross-talk and swearing, according to Republicans and Democrats familiar with the meeting.
White House Chief of Staff John F. Kelly was in the room and was largely stone-faced, not giving any visible reaction when Trump said “shithole countries” or when he said Haitians should not be part of any deal, White House advisers said.
At one point, Graham told Trump he should use different language to discuss immigration, people briefed on the meeting said.
As Trump batted back the Democrats, he was urged on by Republican lawmakers. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) told Graham and Durbin their proposal would not fly, and he told the group they should instead embrace his more conservative bill. Durbin was not interested, White House officials said.
[S]ome White House officials, including conservative adviser Stephen Miller, feared that Graham and Durbin would try to trick Trump into signing a bill that was damaging to him and would hurt him with his political base. As word trickled out Thursday morning on Capitol Hill that Durbin and Graham were heading over to the White House, legislative affairs director Marc Short began to make calls to lawmakers and shared many of Miller’s concerns.
Soon, Goodlatte, one of the more conservative House members on immigration, was headed to the White House. Trump also called House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and asked him to come, McCarthy said. Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.) and Cotton were also invited to rush over.
So when Trump changed his mind and decided he didn’t want a bipartisan compromise on immigration after all, Goodlatte was more than willing to help scuttle the plan– while failing to raise any objection to Trump’s vulgar dismissal of immigrants from certain countries.
And now Goodlatte won’t even speak about what happened at the meeting. This is a complicit and dishonorable man who cannot leave Congress soon enough.