Pres. Trump says administration is ‘very prepared’ for 2018 in remarks from Camp David

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THURMONT, MD (AP) – The Latest on President Donald Trump’s meetings at Camp David with congressional leaders (all times local):

1:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he won’t sign legislation protecting hundreds of thousands of young people brought to the country illegally as children unless Congress agrees to overhaul the legal immigration system.

Trump told reporters Saturday at Camp David that any deal must include an overhaul of the family-based immigration system as well as an end to the diversity visa lottery, which draws immigrants from under-represented parts of a world.

That’s in addition to funding for his promised southern border wall and added border security.

Trump says he thinks Democrats will be on board with the plan, despite their concerns.

Trump has given Congress until March to come up with legislation to protect hundreds of thousands of young people who had been shielded from deportation and given the right to work in the country under the Obama-era Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Trump says, “we all want DACA to happen, but we also want great security for our country.”

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1:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he’s done campaigning for insurgents challenging incumbent Republican members of Congress.

Trump tells reporters after huddling with GOP House and Senate leaders at Camp David that he’s planning a robust schedule of campaigning ahead of the 2018 midterm elections – including primary elections.

Trump says he’ll be “very involved” with both House and Senate races, and will campaign for incumbents and “anybody else that has my kind of thinking.”

After a stinging GOP loss in Alabama, Trump says that he’s done supporting challengers, declaring: “I don’t see that happening.”

Trump had supported Roy Moore, who lost the recent Alabama special election, handing Democrats another seat in the Senate.

Trump says he needs more Republicans in office to get his agenda passed.

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12:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he’s had some “incredible meetings” with Republican congressional leaders and Cabinet members at Camp David as they ready their 2018 legislative agenda.

He says the group discussed a variety of topics – from national security and infrastructure to the military and the budget.

Trump says “we are very well prepared for the coming year. We finished very strong.”

Trump is hoping to work out a deal with Democrats that may include granting legal status to about 800,000 young immigrants who were temporarily shielded from deportation under an Obama-era program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals.

He says “it’s something certainly that I’d like to see happen.”

Trump also wants to address the problem of drug “pouring into this country and how to stop it.” He’s citing opioids and “drugs in the traditional sense.”

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2:40 a.m.

Plenty of pressing issues are on the agenda as President Donald Trump hosts congressional Republicans and administration officials at Camp David.

The meeting scheduled to begin at midmorning Saturday is expected to touch on the budget, infrastructure, immigration, welfare reform and the shape of midterm elections this fall.

Republicans are eager to add to the victory they achieved late last year with the overhaul of the nation’s tax code. But that drive also put off other issues, among them funding the federal government. In just two weeks another funding deadline awaits, and Republican and Democratic lawmakers remain at odds over increasing spending for defense and nondefense agencies.

They also are struggling with the question of whether to extend protections for immigrants brought to the country illegally as children.

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