WASHINGTON (CBSNewYork/CBS News/AP) — President Donald Trump on Sunday talked about taxes, health care reform and foreign policy during a one-on-one interview with CBS News.
As CBS2’s Brian Conybeare reported, Trump was looking back on his first 100 days in office as he planned for the coming battles on key issues.READ MORE: Campaign 2021: Early Voting Begins In New Jersey And New York City
Speaking with John Dickerson on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Trump said he was keeping his promises and returning the power to the American people. Meanwhile, just days after saying he thought being president would be “easier,” Trump backtracked a bit.
“It’s a tough job, but I’ve had a lot of tough jobs,” Trump said. “I’ve had things that were tougher, although I’ll let you know that better at the end of eight years. Perhaps eight years. Hopefully, eight years.”
Trump reflected on the difficulty of being president and his first 100 days in office.
“It’s something I really love and I think I’ve done a very good job at it,” he said.
As Trump pushes tax reform on Capitol Hill, Dickerson pressed him on whether he would finally release his own tax returns.
Dickerson: “You first said that you were under audit and you were going to wait for that about 14 months ago. That’s kind of a long time. When do you think this might happen are you asking them?”
Trump: “It could happen soon. I think it’s pretty routine, to be honest with you, but then I’ll make a decision.”
Trump has struggled to pass any major legislation in his first 100 days.
Trump has spent that time coming to terms with the slow grind of government even in a Republican-dominated capital, and watching some of his promises — from repealing the nation’s health care law to temporarily banning people from some Muslim nations — fizzle.
Late Sunday night, Republican and Democratic negotiators on Capitol Hill struck a deal Sunday night over funding the government through September and averting a shutdown, three congressional aides confirmed to CBS News.
The legislation, known as an omnibus spending package, is expected to fund the government through the rest of fiscal 2017, which ends September 30. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the comprehensive measure this week before funding runs out on Friday night.
The package does not include any funding for President Trump’s planned wall along the U.S.-Mexico border or a deportation force, according to a senior congressional aide. Instead, it includes $1.5 billion for border security, which would cover technology and repairing existing infrastructure.
Meanwhile, despite a renewed White House effort push, the House also did not vote last week on a revised bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Health Care Act.
After the original effort failed to win enough support from conservatives and moderates, Republicans recast the bill. The latest version would let states escape a requirement under Obama’s 2010 law that insurers charge healthy and seriously ill customers the same rates. The overall legislation would cut the Medicaid program for the poor, eliminate fines for people who don’t buy insurance and provide generally skimpier subsidies. Critics have said the approach could reduce protections for people with pre-existing conditions.
But during his “Face the Nation” interview, Trump said the measure has a “clause that guarantees” that people with pre-existing conditions will be covered.
Trump said: “Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I just watched another network than yours, and they were saying, ‘Pre-existing is not covered.’ Pre-existing conditions are in the bill. And I mandate it. I said, ‘Has to be.'”READ MORE: NYPD: 23-Year-Old Charged With Murder Of Delivery Worker Stabbed To Death During Lower East Side Robbery
Trump said during the interview that if he’s unable to renegotiate a long-standing free trade agreement with Mexico and Canada, then he’ll terminate the pact.
He also spoke about tensions with North Korea and dictator Kim Jong Un
“Obviously, he a pretty smart cookie,” Trump said of the North Koreanleader.
Asked about the failure of several North Korean missile tests recently, Trump said he’d “rather not discuss it. But perhaps they’re just not very good missiles. But eventually, he’ll have good missiles.”
“You don’t want to discuss it because maybe we have something to do with it?” Dickerson asked.
“I just don’t want to discuss it,” Trump replied.
Trump also said he is willing to use the trade issue as leverage to get China’s help with North Korea. “Trade is very important. But massive warfare with millions, potentially millions of people being killed? That, as we would say, trumps trade.”
“The president’s priorities are clear,” Schumer said. “Almost all of the tax breaks go to the people at the very highest end.”
Schumer said Trump’s tax plan would cost the average New York City taxpayer an extra $5,500, and $4,300 for people on Long Island, by not allowing them to deduct their state and local property or income taxes on their federal returns.
“The elimination of state and local deductibility is a dagger aimed at the heart of middle class folks throughout New York State,” Schumer said. “Nothing could be worse for us.”
But Trump said on “Face the Nation” that he blames Schumer and his allies for blocking the president’s priorities on the economy, health care, immigration, and other issues.
“The Democrats have been totally obstructionist,” Trump said. “Chuck Schumer has turned out to be a bad leader. He’s a bad leader for our country.”
This week, the president will welcome Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House. And he’ll head to New York City on Thursday where he’ll visit the USS Intrepid to mark the 75th anniversary of a World War II naval battle.
On Sunday morning, Trump headed to Trump National Golf Club in Virginia. The White House did not immediately clarify whether he was holding meetings or golfing.
Trump marked his 100th day in office Saturday with a rally in Harrisburg, where he continued to pledge to cut taxes and get tough on trade deals.
“We are not going to let other countries take advantage of us anymore,” he said Saturday in Harrisburg at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex and Expo Center. “From now on it’s going to be America first.”
Trump’s rally Saturday night in Harrisburg offered a familiar recapitulation of what he and aides have argued for days are administration successes, including the successful confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court, his Cabinet choices and the approval of construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.MORE NEWS: Parts Of Cross Island Parkway To Close Sunday For LIRR Work Near UBS Arena
(© Copyright 2017 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)