CBS NEWS: Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney joins Margaret Brennan to discuss the president's tweets attacking Rep. Elijah Cummings, the budget deal, immigration and more.
MARGARET BRENNAN: The President has tweeted thirteen times in the past twenty-four hours about Congressman Elijah Cummings. I want to read the first tweet. He said, "Why is so much money sent to the Elijah Cummings district when it's considered the worst run and most dangerous anywhere in the United States. No human being would want to live there. Where's all the money going? How much is stolen? Investigate immediately." What is the objective of this?
MICK MULVANEY: To push back against what the President sees as inaccuracies, lies, about what Mister Cummings said this week in the oversight committee about the border. If you go on the internet you can find the exchange where Elijah Cummings said that children were-- were sit-- sitting in their own feces at the border. That's wrong, in fact, it's misleadingly wrong. It-- it's the type of thing that really breaks down a civilized debate about how to address the-- the crisis at the border. And the President didn't like it. Does the President speak hyperbolically? Absolutely. Have we seen this type of-- of reaction from him before? Yes. And you will again because he pushes back. He fights back when he feels like he's attacked and what-- what Mister Cummings said this week was wrong.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So is there an investigation being launched?
MICK MULVANEY: Into?
MARGARET BRENNAN: The President says investigate this corrupt mess immediately.
MICK MULVANEY: Oh, no, he's calling on Congress to do it. Congress over-- does oversight. So my guess is no, because Mister Cummings is in charge of the Oversight Committee. Keep in mind, I think-- I think Maryland is the richest state on a per capita or per household basis in the nation, yet, they have real abject poverty in-- in Baltimore. I think the President wants folks to-- to know that, look, instead of dealing with the-- those issues, Mister Cummings is spending all of his time on this impeachment inquiry which is-- we all know is going nowhere. So it's the-- the-- Democrats have a chance to actually focus on things that matter, instead, they're working on scandal. And I think the President's doing everything he can to highlight that.
MARGARET BRENNAN: But you know, though, that this is a majority black district.
MICK MULVANEY: Mm-Hm.
MARGARET BRENNAN: And when the President calls it "rat infested," he says "no human being would live there." Do you understand that that is offensive to the Americans who do live there?
MICK MULVANEY: I understand that everything that Donald Trump says is offensive to some people. Keep in mind about two weeks ago, the President said things that were critical of AOC and her squad and was immediately accused of being a racist. A couple of days later Nancy Pelosi said some things critical of that same group of people and she was defended by the media and by the folks on the left for not being racist when Donald Trump--
MARGARET BRENNAN: "No human being would want to live there."
MICK MULVANEY: When Donald Trump attacks people--
MARGARET BRENNAN: This is being perceived as racist, do you understand why?
MICK MULVANEY: I understand why but that doesn't mean that it's racist. The President is pushing back against what he sees as wrong. It's how he's done in the past and he'll continue to do in the future.
MARGARET BRENNAN: So you think this is just hyperbolic?
MICK MULVANEY: I-- I absolutely do. And I hope the folks actually pay attention to it and realize what Democrats in Congress are doing. Instead of helping people back home, they're focusing on scandal in Washington, DC, which is the exact opposite of what they said they would do when they ran for election in 2018.