Trump's debt elimination goal is 'hyperbole,' budget director says

Mick Mulvaney: 'When you say people that voted for him are hurt, that's not the issue'

President Donald Trump's budget director Mick Mulvaney said his boss exaggerated when he promised to eliminate the federal debt while also pursuing his policy agenda.

In an interview with CNBC, Mulvaney said Trump overshot the goal of eliminating federal debt by the end of his second term. On Mulvaney's agenda right now is drafting a White House budget, bridging the gap between the White House and House Freedom Caucus over the GOP's failed health-care bill and overseeing the administration's deregulation plans.

Trump had pledged to reduce $20 trillion in federal debt — a task that Mulvaney says is impossible to accomplish in four years.

"It's fairly safe to assume that was hyperbole," Mulvaney said. "I'm not going to be able to pay off $20 trillion worth of debt in four years. I'd be being dishonest with you if I said that I could."

"The reason the president doesn't want to change some of the mandatory spending, is because the public's not ready for it yet," he said. "They're ready for economic growth."

Read the rest of the interview here.