Mulvaney: Trump 'absolutely' could still cut off aid to Central American nations

President TrumpDonald John TrumpRouhani says Iran will never seek nuclear weapons Trump downplays seriousness of injuries in Iran attack after US soldiers treated for concussions Trump says Bloomberg is 'wasting his money' on 2020 campaign MORE may still cut off aid to Central American countries, acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial Collins breaks with GOP on attempt to change impeachment rules resolution MORE said Sunday.

Despite bipartisan criticism of the proposal, cutting off aid is “absolutely” still possible, Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.”

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“This is his number one priority. Keep in mind, dealing with health care is nice, dealing with the economy is nice. The president’s first responsibility is to protect the integrity and safety of our nation, and we really do believe and I think again, most folks are starting to agree with us now, that the situation on the border is a national security crisis.” Mulvaney told Fox News’s Bill Hemmer.

Trump has called to end foreign aid to Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras over the flow of migrants from the countries moving toward the U.S.

Critics, however, have said aid cuts are unlikely to achieve their desired effect.

“It may make the lives of these individuals even worse and thus encourage more of them to flee the countries that they are now leaving,” Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump trial begins with clashes, concessions Senate Republicans muscle through rules for Trump trial Collins breaks with GOP on attempt to change impeachment rules resolution MORE (R-Maine), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, said last week. “So I’d actually like to see the president consider a different approach, an opposite approach.”

Trump last week backed down on his threats to close the southern border, saying he would give Mexico a "one-year warning" to stop the flow of drugs into the U.S.