Tags: mick mulvaney | budget director | white house | government shutdown

Mick Mulvaney: Schumer 'Mischaracterizing' Wall Issue From Meeting

Mick Mulvaney: Schumer 'Mischaracterizing' Wall Issue From Meeting

Director of the Office of Management and Budget Mick Mulvaney. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

By    |   Saturday, 20 January 2018 05:53 PM

White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Saturday ripped Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for "mischaracterizing" last-ditch negotiations Friday to avert a shutdown, saying that the New York Democrat has to "be more honest with the president."

Trump rejected Schumer's proposal over funding issues for a border wall, Mulvaney said.

Schumer has cited Trump's turnabout in charging on the Senate floor Saturday that "negotiating with President Trump is like negotiating with Jell-O."

Trump has demanded that any deal to protect the nearly 700,000 young aliens affected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program must include money for a wall on the southern U.S. border with Mexico to stop illegal immigration.

The president called Schumer to the Oval Office meeting on Friday, which was also attended by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Schumer's chief of staff, Mike Lynch.

In attacking Trump for rejecting his proposal, Schumer said that he "reluctantly" put border wall funding on the table during the meeting and that the president had first accepted it before later backing out.

"The way things went today, the way you turned from a bipartisan deal, it was almost as if you were rooting for a shutdown," Schumer said early Saturday after Democrats refused to back a House-approved plan on a four-week continuing resolution to keep the government open.

But Mulvaney told reporters at a White House update on the shutdown Saturday that Kelly provided a different rundown of the events at that Friday luncheon meeting.

"Mr. Schumer told the president, 'I will give you all of the money that you want for the wall,' and the president said: 'Great. $20 billion to build the whole wall?'"

However, Schumer countered: 'No. Only the $1.6 billion you asked for in the budget,'" Mulvaney said.

"We had a $1.6 billion request in the 2018 budget that we wanted to see in the 2018 appropriations bill.

"That is not all of the money for the wall — and nor was it ever intended to be.

"Chuck Schumer then said to the president, 'I am giving you everything about the wall' — and when pressed, he admitted that he was not doing it."

Trump has sought the $1.6 billion for the first phase of the wall's construction.

"That is the type of the negotiation that Mr. Schumer has been engaged in," Mulvaney said. "So, you have to ask yourself at some point, 'Does it become profitable to work with somebody like that?'

"Mr. Schumer has to up the game and be more honest with the president of the United States if we are going to be seeing progress on that front."

Matt House, a spokesman for Schumer, later hit back on Twitter:

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White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney on Saturday ripped Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer for "mischaracterizing" last-ditch negotiations Friday to avert a shutdown, saying that the New York Democrat has to "be more honest with the president."
mick mulvaney, budget director, white house, government shutdown
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2018-53-20
Saturday, 20 January 2018 05:53 PM
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