Mulvaney: Trump Doesn't Want To Shut Down Government Again Or Declare National Emergency


White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney joins CBS's Margaret Brennan to discuss President Trump's decision to reopen the government without funding for the wall.

MICK MULVANEY, ACTING WHITE HOUSE CHIEF OF STAFF: Margaret, good morning. Thank you for having me.

BRENNAN: Is the president really prepared to shut down the government again in three weeks?

MULVANEY: Yes, I think he actually is.

Keep in mind, he's willing to do whatever it takes to secure the border. He does take this very seriously. This is a serious humanitarian and security crisis. And as president of the United States, he takes the security of the nation as his highest priority.

He doesn't want to shut the government down. Let's make that very clear. He doesn't want to declare a national emergency. What he wants to do is fix this the way that things are supposed to get fixed with our government, which is through legislation.

One of the reasons he agreed to open the government this week was to essentially take the Democrats at their word. While their leadership have been telling us they were not interested in negotiating and were sort of taking this do-nothing and hope-the-president-gives-up approach, there were many, many Democrats, both rank and file and some lower levels of leadership, who would come to us and say, look, we happen to agree with you on border security.

Some of them were even very public about it.

BRENNAN: Which Democrats?

MULVANEY: Well, Dick Durbin publicly said that we will have some walls in the future. Jim Clyburn, my former colleague from South Carolina, actually said that, if you could convince him that the experts said we needed a border barrier, he would vote for that.

So there's many, many Democrats. Dozens of them have come out over the last couple weeks to say, you know what, this crisis is real, let's figure out a way to do it properly, but we can't do with it the government closed.

And I think what you saw this week is the president take them at their word and say, OK, you all said you want to do this. Let's give it a shot and see if, over the next three weeks, we can do this the right way and pass legislation to fund the government and secure the border.

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