“It’s Trump — they’re going to blame me no matter what”

It turned out that GOP leaders had Trump’s ear at least as much as Schumer did. According to multiple congressional and White House sources, Trump also told Schumer he needed to work out an agreement with McConnell and Ryan. That killed any hopes among Democrats that Schumer could persuade Trump to make concessions on the expiring Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

Still, as Schumer and Trump met, Republicans on the Hill worried that the two New Yorkers would again betray GOP leaders, as they did in the fall when they cut a deal on the debt ceiling and government funding. GOP leaders, in fact, were not informed of the meeting until right before it happened.

But White House Chief of Staff John Kelly phoned Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn (R-Texas) right after the meeting. His message: There would be no Trump-Schumer deal.

“He told me that the president told Schumer to come back and talk to Ryan and McConnell. [Trump] wasn’t going to get in the middle of it,” Cornyn said. “Sounds like Gen. Kelly had it under control.”