President Trump was not talking about cutting entitlement benefits when he spoke about the U.S. economy during a Fox News town hall in Scranton, Pa., on Thursday evening, according to White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
During the town hall, anchor Martha MacCallum asked Trump about trimming the deficit.
“[If] you don’t cut something in entitlements, you will never really deal with the debt,” she said of critics’ concerns
“Oh, we’ll be cutting,” Trump responded. “We’re also going to have growth like you’ve never seen before.”
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Conway said critics are “misquoting” Trump when they claim he meant cuts to entitlements — telling “America’s Newsroom” that White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham has since clarified that he was talking about deficits and not entitlements.
“He is not talking about cutting entitlements and he has said that several times,” Conway said. “His press secretary put out a statement last night [saying] that’s not what he was referring to, and the president has weighed in on this as well.”
Trump tweeted Friday morning, “I will protect your Social Security and Medicare, just as I have for the past 3 years. Sleepy Joe Biden will destroy both in very short order, and he won’t even know he’s doing it!”
Conway said Trump addressed economic growth, in terms of what a trimmed deficit would mean to further bolstering the outlook.
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“He inherited a big deficit. He made very clear the previous president exploded the deficit beyond anything that the prior presidents combined had done,” she said, citing Trump’s statement that President Obama spiked the U.S debt more than $21 trillion in his eight years.
“Under President Trump’s leadership we have had three consecutive pay raises for active military and what he has done for the veterans is incredible,” she added.