Dem rep: 'If Mick Mulvaney were president, we could’ve solved' border talks at Camp David retreat

Rep. John YarmuthJohn Allen YarmuthDemocrats look to flip script on GOP 'defund the police' attacks Democrats hit crunch time in Biden spending fight Republican immigration proposal falls flat MORE (D-Ky.) said Sunday that he believes a group of lawmakers invited to Camp David over the weekend by Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' MORE could have come to an agreement on border security "in less than a day" if the acting White House chief of staff were president.

Yarmuth indicated on ABC's "This Week" that he and other lawmakers had productive discussions at Camp David, but that outside factors prevent them from coming to an agreement.

"If [Rep. Tom GravesJohn (Tom) Thomas GravesGreene's future on House committees in limbo after GOP meeting McConnell says Taylor Greene's embrace of conspiracy theories a 'cancer' GOP has growing Marjorie Taylor Greene problem MORE (R-Ga.)] and I and the group that was up at Camp David, including Mick Mulvaney, were left to our own devices, we would’ve solved it in less than a day," he said. "And if Mick Mulvaney were president, we could’ve solved it."


"The problem is … we have people of goodwill and intelligence and thoughtfulness who actually can negotiate all these things very easily, but then the outside world intervenes," Yarmuth added.

The Democrat noted that President TrumpDonald TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit MORE and Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiHouse to resume mask mandate after new CDC guidance McCarthy pulls GOP picks off House economic panel GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE (D-Calif.), frequent targets of partisan criticism, are not the only ones to blame for difficulties in talks. He cited "the right-wing media" and "left-wing organizations" as other sources that make it harder to reach a compromise.

"We have so many outside pressures that make it very, very difficult for us to come to a logical compromise and then sell it," Yarmuth said. "I don’t know the answer to that, but we could’ve gotten it done this weekend."

Trump triggered a recent 35-day government shutdown with his demand for $5.7 billion for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Democrats have offered funding for other border security measures, but no money for the wall.

The president agreed to reopen the government until Feb. 15 while a bipartisan group of lawmakers negotiate a deal to fund border security. Some members of the group expressed optimism a deal could be reached by Monday, but negotiations appeared to have stalled.

The president has threatened to declare a national emergency if needed to secure funding for the border wall. Several Republicans have expressed skepticism about such a move, however, which would likely prompt swift legal challenges.