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tv   Sean Spicer Says President Stands By Trump Tower Wiretapping Claim  CSPAN  March 17, 2017 2:28am-2:54am EDT

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uss north carolina. >> the uss north carolina is the official memorial to the veterans of north carolina from world war ii. i am just awestruck with what was accomplished in 1940. in terms of technology, training, dedication to the mission. you can say the last war that everybody agreed on. program onspan's north carolina saturday at noon eastern on c-span's to book tv. on sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m. on american history tv on -- c-span3. next, white house budget director mick mulvaney answering reporters questions on the president's proposed budget. the epa and state would see the largest cuts. the defense department, veterans
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affairs, and homeland security would see the largest increases. this portion of the white house briefing is 25 minutes. mr. mulvaney: thanks very much, good afternoon and happy day before st. patrick's day, also known as budget day. most of you heard me talk about the budget before, i'm not going to say too many things in opening before we get to your questions. we will remind you this is what we're calling the america first budget. we had an america first candidate, we now have an america first president and it shouldn't surprise anyone that we have an america first budget. you've seen the details as we talked about last week, $54 billion of additional defense spend, we have more details today on where that money is going. we are seeing increases at the v.a., increases at the department of justice, increases within the department of homeland security for things that include border security and immigration control. increases within the department of energy. to deal with nuclear triad.
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and then corresponding reductions, similar amounts, offsetting dollar for dollar, in other programs. the largest reduction, if you've seen the budget already is a 31% reduction in the environmental protection agency. the next largest on a percentage basis is within the department of state and the other departments are reduced in lesser amounts. i think the smallest reduction i think the smallest reduction we have is nasa, less than 1%. and to offset that money with savings elsewhere. this budget does not balance the
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budget, it simply reallocate stanley prioritizes spending, as any family were business would do. this budget does not, for those of you who were here last week, this budget does not address policy changes, tax policy, mandatory spending. this is simply the top line spending budget. this is why we call it the blueprint and not the full budget. the full budget will be released in may. before i take questions, i want to do something i don't normally do. i am going to call on "the new york times," because they are in trouble. where is my "new york times"? matchplay gottheimer and alan rapoport are in big trouble. printed this morning that i am the father of 17-year-old triplet girls. my 17-year-old daughter wishes that had happened, my two 17-year-old sons are not happy about that.
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[laughter] mr. mulvaney: if you could clarify that, that would be great. i'll give you the first question. reporter: we are not great at math at "the new york times." mr. mulvaney: the math was right, the gender was wrong. reporter: during the campaign, then-candidate trump talked about national debt, which has reached around $22 billion. you mentioned in it your budget message this morning. is there a plan, as the president talked about during last year's campaign, to eliminate the national debt in eight years? he said in the campaign it would be easy to eliminate the entire debt in eight years. is that something he's committed to trying to do? mr. mulvaney: it's a good question, a fair question, i would suggest it's not the right time for the question. the budget blueprint doesn't deal with the debt. it doesn't even deal with the deficit. it's simply the first part of the appropriations process. we'll send this up to the hill now, and the appropriations committees of the house and the
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senate, the house controls the power of the purse, the -- congress controls the power of the purse, and this will be the first step in that process. we'll start to address the issues of the longer term deficit, longer term debt in that larger budget. of course we'll have to deal at that time with things like mandatory spend, tax policy, revenue flows to the government. again, it's a fair question, i just don't think now is the time to ask it. >> the 28% that comes out of the state department, i know you're leaving a lot of discretion to the people in charge there and all of these agencies for having to implement these cuts. but how much is intended to come out of the foreign aid budget? mr. mulvaney: a lot of it. as i said before, one of the reasons what you see such a dramatic reduction in the state department on a percentage basis is not that the president thinks diplomacy is not important. in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. we've already seen that secretary tillerson has had a tremendous diplomatic success already on the deal he cut with iraq. the president believes in diplomacy, and we believe this
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budget protects that core function of the state department. it just so happens that much of the foreign aid that the president talked about in his campaign, much of the money that goes to climate research, green energy, those types of things are actually in the state department budget. if those line items had been in the department of commerce, you would see the department of commerce having gone down by a similarly large percentage. so the answer to your question is that most of the cuts within the state department try to focus directly on foreign aid. reporter: the budget showed a .8% decrease for nasa. but you've also talked about the administration using private companies such as space-x for more of that. this show some of this is going to be shifted to the private sector, and does this show a commitment on the administration's part for science and nasa? mr. mulvaney: if you go become to the president's speeches, interviews he gave, we tried to
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identify his priorities. one thing he told us is i'm still interested in america being involved in space exploration. so even though the overall top line number at nasa is reduced by a small fraction, i think it's .08% as you mentioned, items that deal with specifically space exploration are plused up. part of the intent there is to promote exactly what you just talked about. yes, sir. >> your own experience in the house tells you a lot of these cuts haven't been voted for before. do you consider this budget an opening bid, and do you expect a lot of pushback even from republicans on the specificity and size of these cuts? and secondly, to take your point about the president's words on the campaign, those of us who traveled with him remember he said he didn't want to touch social security or medicare, the big entitlements. the fact that that's not in this budget, is that a signal that those programs remain untouched and as the committee for responsible federal budget said , that it ignores 0% of the spending over the next decade. mr. mulvaney: the president is
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going to keep the promise he is -- promises he kept on the campaign trail. you'll see no preference to social security here, no reference to medicare here, no reference to medicaid here or any of the other mandatory programs some people call entitlement programs, because that's not what this budget is. this is the discretionary part of the budget, half of which is defense and the other half is everything else. just because it's not here doesn't mean we're dodging the issue. you would never see in any budget blueprint that deals with this topline spending numbers of social security, medicare, or medicaid. to the other part of your question, i know some of these will be unpopular. keep in mind the president is in a unique position. i represented 700,000 people in south carolina. i had my constituency. it was a district. senators represent an entire state. we're always dealing with special interests from back
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home. the president is beholden to none of that. the president has drafted a budget for the entire nation we know that going into it through the message we're sending to the hill is we want more money for the things the president talked about, defense being the top one, national security, and we do not want to add to the budget deficit. if congress has another way to do that, we are happy to talk about it. in the glasses. reporter: from al jazeera. the worst humanitarian crisis. people are facing starvation or famine. yet, you're cutting funding to the u.n., fighting to the foreign aid budget. are you worried some of the most vulnerable people on earth will suffer as a result?
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dir. mulvaney: we are absolutely reducing funding to the u.n. and various foreign aid programs, including those run by other agencies. that should come as a surprise to no one who watched the campaign. the president said specifically, hundreds of times, "i'm going to spend less time overseas and more money on people back home." that is exactly what we are doing with our budget. reporter: with your focus on dollar for dollar offsets for fiscal year 2018, for the fiscal year 2017 request, you did not insist on dollar for dollar offsets. why are you not concerned about adding to the deficit in fiscal 2017? director mulvaney: the question deals with a 2017 request, a $30 billion, i think it is 3.5 billion for the wall, and it is not entirely offset. there are a couple reasons for that. one is time, the other is that some of that is overseas contingencies operations. you also know that i have a somewhat colored history with the overseas contingency operation, but i will tell you
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that we went through and made sure the money was focused on the areas we are involved overseas. iraq, syria, afghanistan. we have sent them $18 billion worth of proposed reductions for fiscal 2017, but not were all offset. reporter: the president's call for illuminating funding for the corporation for public broadcasting and the national endowment for the arts -- the appropriations bill funds them. will he veto the bills until the republican leadership extends bills that defund those things? dir. mulvaney: we want to defund those. it is a completely defensible reason for doing that. it is a simple message. i put myself in the shoes of that steelworker in ohio, the coal miner -- the coal mining family in west virginia. the mother of two in detroit.
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i am thinking, ok, i have tasked these folks for money and tell them where i am going to spend it. can i really but those folks in the eye and go, look, i want to take money from you and give that to the corporation for public broadcasting. that is a really hard-sell and something we do not think we can defend anymore. as to specific vetoes, you and i both know it does not come out line item by line item. we will work with congress or cash to go through the appropriations process, and we will make determinations on whether to sign bills or veto them at the appropriate time. yes, sir? reporter: there are several places in the budget where you're talking about eliminating funding for unauthorized programs. are you laying down a marker about unauthorized programs, and do you think spending discipline will be improved if congress authorized everything? dir. mulvaney: for those of you who are not familiar, we spend a lot of money in the federal government on programs that are not authorized at all. to break it down, it is a three-step process to spend money. you have to budget for it first,
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then you have to authorize it, then you have to appropriate it. a lot of the programs we spend money on for years had been on unauthorized spending. some of them were never authorized in the first place. they were appropriated without any authorization. yeah, the message is that is not the right way to do it. you were the president talk specifically on the campaign trail about at least 5% reduction to the unauthorized programs, and that is what generated this budget. reporter: you talk about this budget keeping the promises the president made during the course of the campaign. the housing and urban development budget blueprint calls for a 13% reduction, $6 billion. president trump said specifically to urban black voters, he said, "what do you have to lose?" it turns out, at least $6 billion that go to programs that benefit those communities. what do you say to those citizens?
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dir. mulvaney: no one is going to get kicked out of their houses. what we saw -- and i talked to dr. carson just today. we went through the analysis of the hud budget. a lot of their money spent on government housing and building it. it is actually infrastructure. what secretary carson and i talked about was figuring out a way to do that better. we did that, but we realized we are working on a large infrastructure program that we ,ope to roll out this summer and what secretary carson wants to do is take money for the infrastructure and move that into this larger program. in see similar line items the department of transportation for the same reason. this does not mean the president is changing his commitment to infrastructure. years, we have built infrastructure like this and it is not working well, so what we are doing now is taking it out of the discretionary budget and move it into the
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larger plan this summer. >> may support a variety of different programs including in part, meals on wheels benefits a lot of americans. in austin, texas, today, one organization delivers the meals to thousands of elderly citizens. those citizens will no longer be able to be provided those meals. what do you say to those americans that are losing out? dir. mulvaney: wheels on meals is not part of the program. many states make the decision to use that money on wheels on -- meals on wheels. we spend $150 billion on those programs since the 1970's. these have been identified as programs since the second bush administration as ones that were not showing any results. we cannot do that anymore. we cannot spend money on programs just because they sound good. meals on wheels sounds great. that is a state decision to fund that particular portion, to take
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the federal money and give it to the states and say, look, we want to give you money for programs that don't work. we cannot defend that anymore. we are $20 trillion in debt. we are going to spend a lot of money, but not on programs that cannot show that they actually deliver the promises we made to people. reporter: there is a program called the shine in rural counties of pennsylvania that provides afterschool educational programs for individuals in those areas, which just so happens to be a state that propelled president trump to the white house. what do you say to those americans that tell me that 800 beividuals will no longer provided with the care they need? dir. mulvaney: i'm not familiar. i have to memorize all 4000 line items. they are supposed to be educational programs, help kids who do not get fed at home get fed so they do better in school. guess what?
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there is no demonstrable evidence they are doing that. there is no demonstrable evidence they are helping kids do better in school. when we took your money from you, the way we justified it was these programs are going to help kids do better in school and do better jobs, and we cannot prove that it's happening. reporter: to be clear, we are saying the administration is saying no afterschool programs out there are doing their job to helping educate these kids. dir. mulvaney: you are asking me a question i do not know the answer to. i don't believe we cut the funding for all those types of things. reporter: to follow up, you were talking about the steelworker in ohio and the coal miner in pennsylvania and so on, but those workers may have an elderly mother who depends on the meals on wheels program, who may have kids in head start. the day before, you described this as a hard power budget, but is it also a hardhearted budget? dir. mulvaney: i don't think so. it is one of the most
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compassionate things we can do. reporter: cutting programs to help the elderly? dir. mulvaney: you are only focusing on half the equation. you are focusing on recipients of the money. we are focusing on the recipients and the folks who give us the money in the first place. look, we are not going to ask you for your hard earned money single mom of two in detroit, give us your money. we are not going to do that anymore unless we can guarantee -- please, let me finish. unless we can guarantee that money is actually being used in a proper function. i think that is about as compassionate as you can get. reporter: i have a question on the border wall. you know, the budget, as i understand it, asks for $4.1 billion. so, $1.5 billion for this year and $2.6 billion for the following year. there is no mention at all about whether mexico will pay for it or reimburse the u.s. for it as the president pledged, so where is the money coming for the border wall?
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dir. mulvaney: your number is correct. $1.5 for 2017. 2.6 billion for 2018. will it build the wall? no, but it gets us a start on the program and you see some of the wall being built this year , and obviously we increase funding in 2018, but that will take longer than two years to build. as for the source of funds, that is up to the president and the treasury and the state department. we are the guys at omb that take the money to allocate. it is up to us to decide what the money goes to. some of the money used to detain illegal immigrants now goes to sanctuary cities. is that part of the president's promise to withhold funding from sanctuary cities and are there other elements of the budget intended to carry out that punishment the president talked about?
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director mulvaney: i'm not familiar with that particular line item. let me get with the doj and homeland, because they deal with this topic. you will see an increase in homeland for an increase in detention facilities, a significant increase in detention facilities. the president has said he wanted to stop the catch and release program. he signed an executive order to do just that. we fund that. we increase the amount of money for detention facilities for folks to come into the country illegally. i will give you a follow-up. i did not answer your first question very well. reporter: i have a question about the cuts you're making to things like transportation and housing. you said those would be paid for later with other appropriations, but you said this would be balanced. i know you have been a fiscal hawk yourself. it sounds like a bit of a show game, though, where you are saying now this is a balanced budget, but you are not stopping to pay for other things because those will be paid for later, but where are you going to pay for those other things? director mulvaney: to clarify, it is not a balanced budget. there will still be roughly a $488 billion deficit according to the congressional budget office next year. we did not add to that in order to spend money on the president's priorities. regarding moving projects out of
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the, say, the base budgets for the agencies and into the of the -- into the infrastructure, the infrastructure is what we recently started. it will probably not come until summer or early fall. we have to do obamacare repeal and replace first, and then tax reform second, and infrastructure may come after the august recess in congress, so you're making an assumption that i am not willing to make. you are making an assumption that all the infrastructure will go to the deficit, and i am not willing to make that assumption. yes, sir. reporter: one, robust funding for embassy security, citing benghazi [indiscernible] does that mean there will be an increase, considering all the criticism that the president and republicans alleged against president obama for supposedly cutting embassy security? dir. mulvaney: that is one of the line items we leave up to secretary tillerson. he and i have talked about the state apartment budget and how he decides to allocate that.
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it may be that there are some embassies that do not need a lot more security, and some that do, so we give him the flexibility to do that. the gentleman in the back had a question. countries around the globe [indiscernible] getting usmpanies aid would not leave the u.s. supporting terrorism -- how does president trump feel about those countries? will they continue the aid? dir. mulvaney: i come back to what the president said on the campaign trail, that he wants to spend less money overseas. to your question because this came up the other day, which is the hard power versus soft power, there is a very deliberate attempt to send a message to our allies and friends such as india and our adversaries with other countries, shall we say.
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this is a hard power budget. this administration tends to change course from a soft power budget to a hard power budget, and that is a message our adversaries and allies alike should take. i will take one more because i am sort of running down. yes, ma'am? reporter: what message is the president trying to send by eliminating funding for science and climate change? dir. mulvaney: let us deal with them separately. on science, we are going to focus on the core function. there is reductions, for example, in the nih, national institute for health. why? because we think there has been mission creep. we think there is tremendous opportunity for savings. a couple facilities should be
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combined. this comes back to the president's business person view of government, which is if you took over this as a ceo and look at this on a spreadsheet and ask, why do we have seven when we can do the same job with three? will it save money? the answer is yes. part of your answer is focusing on efficiencies and doing what we do better. as to climate change, i think the president was fairly straightforward. we consider that to be a waste and do money to go out that, so that is a specific tie to his campaign. reporter: can i follow up quickly on meals on wheels, you program wasat this determined to not have been doing its job effectively. what information are you using to make that statement? is not feeding seniors and an of itself the fulfillment of -- dir. mulvaney: from having been in the state government, and i have been on several times a
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day, but my understanding of meals on wheels is that that is a state determination. federal government does not fund that. it is the community development block grant, and some states choose to take the money and do the meals on wheels, and other states and localities might choose to do something else. we look at this as $140 billion spent over 40 years without appreciable benefits to show with that kind of taxpayer expenditure, and that's why we have a reduction. announcer: house democratic leader nancy pelosi spoke to reporters about the release of the white house budget proposal, calling it "a slap in the face of the future." the briefing is 25 minutes.

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