Trump: I'm Requesting All Cabinet Secretaries Cut Budgets by 5 Percent

October 17, 2018

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he will ask his cabinet secretaries to cut 5 percent of their respective budgets next year.

A reporter mentioned to Trump during a press conference in the Oval Office that there was some talk about spending being reigned in on Capitol Hill following the midterms. He then asked whether the president would like to see any programs cut, prompting Trump to chime in about his future plans.

"I'm having a cabinet meeting in a little while and we are going to ask every secretary to cut 5 percent for next year. And last year, [my] first year, I had to do something with the military," Trump said. "The military was falling apart. It was depleted. It was in very bad shape, and that's why we went for two years, $700 billion [and] $716 billion. And that took place over a period of two years."

He went on to say that in order to gain enough support from Democratic lawmakers for the increased military budget, he had to give the Democrats "waste money."

"When you look at the border, how bad it is, that's because the Democrats want it to be bad because they don't give us the votes," Trump said. "That's why I hope we do very well in the midterms. But we're going to be asking for a 5 percent cut from every secretary today."

Trump's pledge followed his interview on Fox Business, where he said, "We're going to cut spending, absolutely." He went on to say that there is "a lot of fat" in the budget.

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also told Fox Business that Trump is looking to "Cut the fat, not the essentials." She referenced Trump's request for cabinet members, saying he is "asking them to cut the fraud, the waste, the abuse."

The U.S budget deficit increased to $779 billion in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, which is the highest since 2012.