President Trump's harsh criticism of Senate Democrats, coupled with a campaign ad accusing them of being "complicit" in murder, will not impact future negotiations on immigration reform, the White House said Monday.
The 30-second ad was released by the president's re-election campaign as Republicans and Democrats were seeking to reach an agreement to reopen the government last weekend. Featuring images of a twice-deported illegal immigrant who was accused of killing two California police officers in 2014, the ad suggested that Democrats would "be complicit in every murder committed by illegal immigrants" if they refuse to negotiate an immigration reform bill.
But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said neither the government shutdown nor the controversial campaign ad meant Trump's relationship with Democrats had fully soured.
"I wouldn't say it's the highest level of trust, but we're certainly hopeful that we can reach an agreement on responsible immigration reform," she told reporters on Monday.
"We hope that Democrats will not play politics and will focus and put the needs of the country over the political gamesmanship they've been playing for the past couple of months," Sanders added.
The Senate voted on Monday to reopen the government after they failed to advance a four-week spending bill last Friday, forcing Capitol Hill into a two-day shutdown. Democrats had opposed the original measure over its exclusion of any measure to permanently enact protections for so-called Dreamers – the estimated 800,000 illegal immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and are shielded from deportation under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
"I don't think there's a whole lot of daylight between where we are and where the Democrats are," Sanders said Monday, suggesting that bipartisan immigration talks may be less difficult than anticipated.