Trump Promises No Changes to Social Security After Controversial ‘Cutting’ Remark

Former President Donald Trump vowed in a new interview that he will “never do anything that will jeopardize or harm Social Security or Medicare,” after competitor Joe Biden jumped on Trump’s earlier this week statements about “cutting” entitlement programs.

“I will never do anything to jeopardize or harm Social Security or Medicare,” Trump stated in an interview with Breitbart News released on Thursday.

“We’ll have to do it elsewhere,” he remarked. “But we’re not going to do anything to hurt them.”

Since an interview with CNBC on Monday in which Trump appeared open to larger changes to the programs, his campaign has aggressively pushed back, claiming his statements were taken out of context and misrepresented, and circulating previous footage of Trump committing to defend the entitlements.

President Biden’s reelection campaign, which is in the early stages of a long general election battle with Trump, has emphasized the CNBC encounter this week.

Trump Promises No Changes to Social Security After Controversial 'Cutting' Remark

The back and forth demonstrates how both candidates regard the subject of entitlements as politically significant.

“Have you altered your mind on how to manage entitlements like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid? “Mr. President, it appears that something must be done or we will be stuck at 120% of debt to GDP forever,” Kernan told Trump in the original CNBC interview.

“So first of all, there is a lot you can do in terms of entitlements, in terms of cutting — and in terms of also the theft and the bad management of entitlements, tremendous bad management of entitlements,” Trump said.

“There’s tremendous amounts of things and numbers of things you can do, so I don’t necessarily agree with the statement,” he went on to say. “I know that they’re going to end up weakening Social Security because the country is weak.”

When speaking with Breitbart, Trump made a more clear point.

“There’s so many things we can do,” he added. “There’s so much cutting and so much waste in so many other areas, but I’ll never do anything to hurt Social Security.”

On social media, Trump’s team has also chastised the Biden campaign for posting portions of Trump’s CNBC response rather than the full exchange.

“If you losers hadn’t cut his response short, you’d know President Trump was talking about waste reduction,” says one message from a Trump campaign account.

Biden referenced the CNBC interview during a speech in New Hampshire on Monday, claiming that Trump is “still at it” with threats to entitlement programs.

Despite Trump’s charges of distortion, the White House responded to his comments on Monday, claiming they are consistent with his budget recommendations from when he was president.

On the 2024 campaign trail, the former president promised to defend retirement benefits while attempting to derail the campaigns of Republican candidates Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis, both of whom proposed entitlement reforms as a strategy to lower the national budget.

“Cut waste, fraud, and abuse wherever we can find it, and there is a lot of it,” Trump stated in a video dated January 2023. “But do not reduce the benefits that our seniors have worked for and paid for their entire lives.” “Save Social Security, not destroy it.”

At a rally earlier this month in Richmond, Virginia, Trump claimed it was Biden who would jeopardize the programs, telling supporters, “I will not let him destroy Social Security” and “I will not let him crash Medicare.”

Congress will eventually need to act on Social Security, which presently serves 65 million Americans and faces a long-term financing shortfall. However, the parties have yet to reach an agreement on remedies, and lawmakers are still embroiled in long-running fights over government spending and the debt ceiling.

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