Trump knocks Mulvaney for casting doubt on chances of infrastructure deal

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTed Cruz knocks New York Times for 'stunning' correction on Kavanaugh report US service member killed in Afghanistan Pro-Trump website edited British reality star's picture to show him wearing Trump hat MORE in a new interview chided acting chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyNOAA chief praises agency scientists after statement backing up Trump tweet The Hill's Morning Report — Biden steadies in third debate as top tier remains the same Democrats ramp up calls to investigate NOAA MORE for throwing cold water on the chances of completing an infrastructure deal with Democrats.

In an interview on "The Next Revolution" on Fox News, host Steve Hilton noted Mulvaney's skeptical comments coincided with a meeting late last month between Trump and Democratic leaders at the White House.

"If Mick Mulvaney said that then he has no right to say that," Trump said. "He tells me didn’t say that, and he didn’t mean it. He said it’s going to be hard to finance."


Mulvaney was asked during an appearance at a Milken Institute conference in California last month about the prospects of an infrastructure package coming to fruition.

"Do I think there’s an interest in doing it? Yes. Do I think there’s probably more interest, especially on the Democrats' part, to make a show for trying to get a deal? Yeah," Mulvaney said.

Mulvaney indicated that he had expressed reservations to Trump about the viability of an infrastructure deal bearing fruit before he left office. He pointed to government regulations that lengthen the process and argued Democrats would be unwilling to eliminate those rules.

Trump told Hilton in the interview, set to air Sunday evening, that he still wants to work on infrastructure. But the president himself expressed concerns that Democrats might be luring him into a trap.

"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.”

Democratic lawmakers and Trump agreed following last month's meeting to pursue a $2 trillion infrastructure package.

Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump takes 2020 roadshow to New Mexico This week: House jump-starts effort to prevent shutdown Schumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill MORE (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer, Pelosi push Trump to back universal background check bill Sinema says she would back Kennedy in race against Markey Democrats threaten to withhold defense votes over wall MORE (D-N.Y.) are scheduled to return to the White House next week for a follow-up meeting to discuss how to fund the proposal. It's unclear if other lawmakers, including any Republicans, will attend.

A sweeping infrastructure package was thought to be one of the few areas where Democrats and the White House could find common ground, but members of both parties have raised some concerns about the prospect of such a deal.

Congressional Republicans have signaled they are unlikely to support an infrastructure package with such a hefty price tag unless they can reach a deal on how to pay for it without adding to the deficit. 

Some Democrats have questioned whether it's worth it to give Trump a win on infrastructure when the president has stonewalled investigative oversight efforts. Others in the party have argued the Democrat-held House should move forward with an infrastructure bill regardless of White House buy-in and put pressure on Republicans to act.