"No final deal" was reached between Democrats and President Donald Trump concerning the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program during a White House dinner, but it is "fair" to say an agreement is on the table, Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said Thursday.
"The Democrats want to talk more and more about 'Dreamers' and about permanent status," Mulvaney, who was at the Wednesday night dinner, told CNBC's "Squawk Box" program. "The president said, 'Well, let's talk more about DACA.'"
Trump, he continued, "wanted to push the wall, very hard, and the Democrats said, 'Well, let's talk about border security.'"
The reason no deal was reached was because Trump is pushing for the wall, Mulvaney said, and he does not believe it is fair to say Trump is giving up on border security because he's talking with Democrats.
"We're just looking at this in bits and pieces," he said.
Earlier this month, Trump rescinded the Obama-era DACA, but gave Congress six additional months to reach a new plan for codifying the program by law.
On Thursday, Mulvaney said those attending the dinner also discussed tax reform, with the president seeking to lower the corporate rates while cutting and making taxes more simple for working Americans.
Mulvaney later told MSNBC that a follow-up statement issued by Schumer and Pelosi about their discussions with Trump was a more accurate description than earlier claims of a deal.
"We have the makings of a deal," Mulvaney said. "There's a deal on the table. I think it's unfair to say there's a done deal. I know there's no done deal. Really what we're discussing right now is how big a portion this border security will be. Border security continues to be absolutely critical to the president. I think that's where the discussions will go."
It still remains, as part of the larger discussion, who will pay for the Mexican border wall, Mulvaney said. Last week, a short term spending measure was reached that will get the government through December, but at that time, "we can talk about larger components for payment of the wall. The House included our request for wall construction. The Senate is very close, I've heard, to doing the same thing."
Meanwhile, Trump's base is angry, with people like Iowa GOP Rep. Steve King saying his support has "blown up" over his work toward an agreement on DACA.
"Here's what I'd say to my friends on the right, my friends at the Freedom Caucus," Mulvaney, a former Congressman said. "Steve King I think is a good friend of mine from Congress. Don't give up on the president because he's not giving up on the wall."
Mulvaney also commented on news reports that Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had sought to use a government plane for his honeymoon.
"I think if you read down into the story, he was concerned because we have significant conversations going on when he was away on his honeymoon regarding sanctions," Mulvaney said. "Sanctions, for example, against North Korea. These are high level and sensitive communications. He was worried about his ability to communicate securely with Washington, D.C., with the White House, while he was traveling."
He said he does think Mnuchin's request was reasonable, but eventually the newlyweds traveled in another way that "was not on the taxpayer time," that allowed the treasury secretary to security communicate with the White House.
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