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

President TrumpDonald John TrumpFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Kurdish group PKK pens open letter rebuking Trump's comparison to ISIS MORE may still cut off aid to Central American countries, acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyJohn (Mick) Michael MulvaneyFlorida GOP lawmaker says he's 'thinking' about impeachment Democrats introduce 'THUG Act' to block funding for G-7 at Trump resort Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Trump insists Turkey wants cease-fire | Fighting continues in Syrian town | Pentagon chief headed to Mideast | Mattis responds to criticism from Trump MORE said Sunday.

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

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 CollinsOvernight Energy: Perry to step down as Energy secretary | Future of big-game hunting council up in the air | Dems lose vote against EPA power plant rule Overnight Defense — Presented by Boeing — Pence says Turkey agrees to ceasefire | Senators vow to move forward with Turkey sanctions | Mulvaney walks back comments tying Ukraine aid to 2016 probe On The Money: Senate fails to override Trump veto over border emergency | Trump resort to host G-7 next year | Senators to push Turkey sanctions despite ceasefire | McConnell tees up funding votes 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.