Trump: Mulvaney had ‘no right' to make infrastructure comments

Mulvaney makes comments on camera last month

By Maegan Vazquez, CNN
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Mick Mulvaney

President Donald Trump expressed frustrations against his acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, for questioning the prospects of striking a deal with Democrats on an infrastructure plan, placing doubt on whether Mulvaney actually criticized the plan even though his comments were captured on camera.

In a newly released clip of a Fox News interview airing Sunday, Trump was asked whether he still wants to pursue a large infrastructure plan with Democrats even though Mulvaney threw cold water on the idea.

"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," the President told "The Next Revolution" host Steve Hilton.

However, despite the President's claim that Mulvaney hadn't cast doubts on the plan, he did so on camera last month.

"Is this a real negotiation? I think it remains to be seen," Mulvaney said at the Milken Institute in Beverly Hills referring to the infrastructure deal, adding, "I think there's a much better chance of getting NAFTA passed than getting an infrastructure deal passed."

The comment came as Democrats met with Trump and administration officials at the White House to discuss a potential infrastructure plan. Both parties suggested the meeting went well, but there hasn't been much news on where the negotiations will go next.

Pressed further during the Fox News interview whether he'd still like to pursue an infrastructure plan with Democrats, Trump said he does want to move forward, but worried about raising taxes.

"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."

CNN's Kevin Liptak and Betsy Klein contributed to this report.

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