"He has evolved in the way he's looked at things", Kelly said of his boss.
In an effort to further reassure the legislators, Kelly took credit for softening the president's stance on DACA, a program he campaigned against.
Democratic Senator Bob Menendez told Reuters the White House is making unacceptable demands on immigration measures related to "Dreamer" protections.
Kelly met with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, Representative Judy Chu of California, chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus as part of ongoing negotiations between the White House and Congress over immigration policy. "He's changed his attitude towards the DACA issue, and even the wall".
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-Calif.), the original sponsor of the Dream Act that would permanently legalize at least 690,000 dreamers, asked Kelly to clarify Trump's definition of a border wall. "Campaign to governing are two different things, and this president has been very flexible in terms of what's in the realm of the possible".
Still, Kelly insisted that the president has been committed to building hundreds of miles of new wall on the border as part of a deal with Democrats on immigration.
Kelly says in an interview with Baier that "there's been an evolutionary process that this president's gone through" on issues ranging from Afghanistan to his promised Southern border wall.
The White House chief of staff told Democratic lawmakers on Wednesday that Trump's campaign comments about the border wall were "not fully informed", and the president lashed out early Thursday morning on Twitter. They also come as lawmakers struggle to reach a bipartisan deal protecting "Dreamers" - around 800,000 people who arrived in the US illegally as children and could be deported without legal protections. "We make a good deal on NAFTA, and, say, I'm going to take a small percentage of that money and it's going toward the wall". "As I understand it, they have the votes and they are fairly confident".
"There was no direction given by the White House", Gallego said.
Trump ended the legal shields on "Dreamers" a year ago and gave Congress until March to renew them. Trump's rejection angered the bargainers, and partisan feelings worsened after participants in a White House meeting last week said Trump had referred to African nations as "shitholes".
"He campaigned against DACA", Kelly said, but the president has since "lightened up".
Another group of high-level lawmakers has also started talks aimed at brokering an immigration deal, adding an additional level of uncertainty. "He wants that. That's a given", he said.