President Donald Trump said Wednesday he’s asking his cabinet secretaries to trim their budgets, as he called immigration a great issue for the midterm elections and slammed Senate hopeful Beto O’Rourke.
Trump asked his cabinet chiefs to cut their departments’ budgets next year. “I’d like you all to come back with a 5% cut,” the president said. “We’ll call it the nickel plan.” He suggested, however, that the Pentagon take a smaller percentage cut.
The president’s comments came two days after the government reported a 17% jump in the budget deficit for the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30. The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget points out the tax-cut legislation Trump enacted was the reason for an increase in red ink when the economy is growing rapidly.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the expanding deficit “very disturbing” but pinned the increase on big federal spending programs.
It is up to Congress to approve the federal budget, though Trump has veto power. In his fiscal 2018 budget, Trump proposed eliminating entire agencies, but those plans were rejected by lawmakers.
PRE-MIDTERMS IMMIGRATION FOCUS
Trump kept up focus on immigration as the midterm elections draw closer, tweeting Republicans should make what he called “the horrendous, weak and outdated immigration laws” part of November’s contests. A day earlier, Trump threatened to cut off U.S. aid to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras if their citizens enter the U.S. illegally.
CITES ‘FAKE NEWS’ OVER REPORT
Trump took issue with the Associated Press over a headline from its interview with him. The AP’s headline read, “Trump tells AP he won’t accept blame if GOP loses House.”
“AP headline was very different from my quote and meaning in the story,” Trump tweeted. “They just can’t help themselves. FAKE NEWS!”
In the interview, the news agency asked: “If Republicans were to lose control of the House on Nov. 6…do you believe you bear some responsibility for that?” Trump replied by saying, “No, I think I’m helping people.”
‘STRONG ENDORSEMENT’ FOR CRUZ OVER ‘FLAKE’ O’ROURKE
Trump said on Twitter he saw the second debate between GOP Sen. Ted Cruz and his challenger Rep. Beto O’Rourke, and heaped praise on his ex-rival. “Ted is strong on Crime, Border & 2nd [Amendment], loves our Military, Vets, Low Taxes,” Trump tweeted about the Texas senator. “Beto is a Flake!” Polls have shown O’Rourke trailing Cruz, with whom Trump brawled in the 2016 presidential primaries. O’Rourke went on the attack Tuesday night, using Trump’s past “Lyin’ Ted” nickname for Cruz.
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