Trump did not tip his hand during the social media summit, but did criticize the recent Supreme Court decision blocking the citizenship question. He said census takers can ask about all sorts of information in households, but not ask if the people living there are U.S. citizens.
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Thursday dropped efforts to get a citizenship question on the 2020 census, saying he will use other means to seek information about the number of U.S. citizens in the country.
Trump said he will order federal agencies to provide all citizenship records, in order to get a "full and complete" account of the nation's "non-citizen" population.
"We are not backing down" from efforts to count citizens and non-citizens, Trump told reporters in a Rose Garden question, but a Supreme Court decision two weeks ago has blocked him from attaching a citizenship question to next year's census.
Earlier, he told a meeting of social media users that "I think we have a solution that will be very good for a lot of people," Trump said while hosting a social media summit at the White House.
Hours earlier, administration officials told reporters Trump was planning to announce an executive order that would authorize a citizenship question on the census.
"We will all go to the beautiful Rose Garden for a News Conference on the Census and Citizenship," Trump said in a morning tweet promoting the social media summit.
But by Thursday afternoon, officials said he might not go that far after all, citing a "fluid" discussion among the president and his aides.