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Trump meets with budget advisers at White House: 'No more wasted money'

"I’ve only been here for four weeks so I can’t take too much of the blame for what’s happened,' Trump said of U.S. finances.

By
Doug G. Ware
President Donald Trump discusses his upcoming federal budget as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (R) looks on at a business lunch in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Wednesday. Pool Photo by Olivier Douliery/UPI
President Donald Trump discusses his upcoming federal budget as Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin (R) looks on at a business lunch in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Wednesday. Pool Photo by Olivier Douliery/UPI | License Photo

Feb. 22 (UPI) -- During a meeting Wednesday, President Donald Trump classified the U.S. government's finances a "mess" and pledged to clean up wasteful spending with smart fiscal and economic policies in his forthcoming first budget.

Trump met with budget advisers for a lunch at the White House, which included Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and budget director Mick Mulvaney.

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The president chastised the government's fiscal policies under Barack Obama and promised to go over federal contracts with a fine-tooth comb.

"We must do a lot more with less. We have already saved a lot -- billions and billions of dollars," he told reporters before the meeting. "The finances of this country are a mess but we're going to clean that up.

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"No more wasted money."

Trump is presently working on a budget outline to submit to Congress. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Wednesday it is expected in mid-March.

"We are going to take this budget which is, in all fairness -- I've only been here for four weeks so I can't take too much of the blame for what's happened -- but it is absolutely out of control," Trump said.

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"I will be holding everybody accountable."

The president said his budget will take care of military, which he called "depleted," and address healthcare. As Congress continues work to repeal the Affordable Care Act, neither Republican lawmakers nor the White House have yet offered a replacement. Trump said his healthcare plan will be submitted next month.

"We have enormous work to do as the national debt doubled over the last eight years," Trump said. "I want the American people to know that our budget will reflect their priorities."

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"Our moral duty to the taxpayer requires us to make our government leaner and more accountable," he continued. "We have already imposed hiring freezes on non-essential government workers and part of our commitment is to continue to do that for the American taxpayer."

Others in attendance at the meeting were White House adviser Jared Kushner, economic adviser Gary Cohn, Trump chief of staff Reince Priebus and senior counselor Steve Bannon.

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