President Donald Trump said his acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney “has no right to” rule out an infrastructural deal between Republicans and Democrats.
“Yeah, if Mick Mulvaney said that, then he has no right to say that. He tells me he didn’t say that and he didn’t mean it. He said it’s going to be hard to finance,” Trump told Fox News host Steve Hilton during an interview segment released on Friday.
Trump’s response pertained to a question about Mulvaney’s appearance at the Milken Institute last month, during which the acting White House chief of staff cast doubt over the likelihood of an infrastructure deal as lawmakers in Washington prepared to discuss the issue.
“Is this a real negotiation? I think it remains to be seen,” said Mulvaney about a potential infrastructure compromise. “I think there’s a much better chance of getting NAFTA passed than getting an infrastructure deal passed.”
Trump, too, has his reservations about the negotiations. When asked whether he still wanted an infrastructure deal, the president blamed the holdup on Democrats.
“I do, but I also think we’re being played by the Democrats a little bit,” he said. “You know, I think what they want me to do is say, ‘well what we’ll do is raise taxes, and we’ll do this and this and this,’ and then they’ll have a news conference, ‘see, Trump wants to raise taxes.’ So it’s a little bit of a game.”