John Kelly staying in Washington for immigration negotiations

Congress faces Feb. 8 deadline to avoid shutdown

By JIM ACOSTA AND MAEGAN VAZQUEZ, CNN
CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) - White House chief of staff John Kelly is staying in Washington to focus on immigration negotiations while President Donald Trump heads to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"Chief Kelly stayed in Washington, DC, to work on immigration reform, while remaining in close contact with the President, US delegation and staff in Davos," White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah said in a statement Thursday morning.

The decision for Kelly to stay in Washington comes as Congress faces a February 8 deadline to avoid another government shutdown. Immigration negotiations will be a major factor in whether lawmakers are able to reach an agreement.

Another White House official told CNN that Kelly expressed some "personal resistance" to going to Davos, but didn't specify why.

Trump made an impromptu appearance at a press gaggle in Kelly's office Wednesday night, where he asked Kelly for an immigration deal by the time he returned from Switzerland.

"Hey chief, would you do me a favor?" Trump asked. "When we come back, when we come back, I want you to have a deal. OK? See if you can have a deal. OK."

Kelly was previously named among top White House and administration officials listed on the US delegation to Davos. He is expected to return to Capitol Hill on Thursday.

Trump, during the impromptu meeting with reporters, praised Kelly: "I think by the way he's doing great. He's doing great."

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