The president, according to a White House official, also suggested he would be open to more immigrants from Asian countries because he felt they help the United States economically.
For many of Trump’s supporters, however, the comments may not prove to be particularly damaging.
Lawmakers mentioned that members of the Congressional Black Caucus had requested that some African countries be included in a deal, according to a White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a private conversation.
Trump had seemed amenable to a deal earlier in the day during phone calls with lawmakers, aides said, but shifted his position in the meeting and did not seem interested in the bipartisan compromise.
White House and Capitol Hill aides say Stephen Miller, the president’s top immigration official, was concerned there could be a deal proposed that was too liberal and made sure conservative lawmakers were present.