President Donald Trump took a shot at Democrats on Monday, telling reporters at a press conference in Washington that Republicans “want to cut the [Social Security] trust fund, which is a big part of our economy, and that they want to privatize Social Security, which we have.
We’re going to make sure that it’s funded.”
Trump also told reporters that he wants to save Medicare, but only if the Senate votes for it.
“It’s very, very important that Medicare and Social Security are preserved,” he said.
Trump also took aim at Democrats, accusing them of not wanting to see “an end to the entitlement program” as he signed an executive order to begin cutting off federal money to the agency.
“This is not about health, it’s about the economy,” Trump said.
“If the Democrats don’t get on board with this, I will do everything in my power to stop their attempts to take our money from Medicare and our Social Security and Medicaid.
We will stop that.”
Democrats, meanwhile, blasted the president’s comments, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer calling Trump’s comments “absurd.”
“The president’s attack on the American people’s entitlement program is the latest example of how he is ignoring our most basic principles and undermining our democracy,” Schumer said in a statement.
“The American people are being ripped off and the American economy is on the verge of collapse.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, called the president “unhinged.”
“Republicans want to cut our social security, Medicare and Medicaid trust fund.
They want to turn the program into a profit-making business and raise taxes on hardworking Americans,” Pelosi said in an official statement.
Democrats and Republicans are locked in a bitter primary battle for control of the Senate.
The GOP holds a slim 53-47 advantage in the chamber and has held on to its majority since 2010.
The party also holds a narrow advantage in state legislative chambers in some states, though in recent years it has lost some seats in those races.
Trump’s comments come just days after House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said he wants Democrats to vote to repeal or significantly alter the health care law in the Senate, as well as his statement criticizing the Affordable Care Act.
Trump on Sunday also suggested he was open to working with Democrats on a possible compromise with the Senate to repeal the ACA.
“Let’s get this done,” Trump told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.
“We’ll see what happens.”
The president on Monday also called on the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, to “go after the Democrats on this,” referring to his fellow Republican, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“I would love for Mitch McConnell to go after the Dems on this, because the Democrats are the ones who voted for it,” Trump, who is known to take on Republicans on Twitter, said at a news conference.
“You want to go on offense?
Let’s get it done.”