Trump will 'look at' Social Security, Medicare cuts: White House budget director

Donald Trump said during his presidential campaign not to touch Social Security, Medicare or Medicaid, but Trump's new budget director says he's working on getting the president to "look at" entitlement reform.

"There are ways that we can not only allow the president to keep his promise but to help him keep his promise by fixing some of these mandatory programs," said Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, on Hugh Hewitt's conservative radio show Monday.

RELATED: Trump warns of 'bloodbath' for GOP if Obamacare survives

Mulvaney said he's been attempting to "socialize the discussion" with the White House about making cuts to the popular retirement programs. "I think people are starting to grab it," said Mulvaney.

"As soon as the 2018 spending budget is done at the end of next week, I'm hoping to put together something for the president to look at on the other pieces of entitlement spending, or mandatory spending," he said.

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Net worths of Trump's Cabinet members
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Net worths of Trump's Cabinet members

Ryan Zinke, Secretary of the Interior: $800,000

Before serving in Congress, Zinke, who has an MBA, started Continental Divide International in 2005, a property management and business development consulting company. He later formed a consulting company, On Point Montana, in 2009.

REUTERS/Carlos Barria TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Mike Pence, Vice President: $800,000

Pence became an attorney in a private practice after graduating from law school before serving in Congress and then becoming the Governor of Indiana.

(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Rick Perry, Secretary of Energy: $2 million 

Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry banks at least $100,000 from speeches and $250,000 from consulting Caterpillar. Additionally, the politician has about 20% of his portfolio invested in in oil-and gas partnerships and energy stocks, according to Forbes.

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

John Kelly, Secretary of Homeland Security: $4 million 

Kelly, who spent over four decades in the military, amassed the majority of his wealth from government pension. 

(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

James Mattis, Secretary of Defense: $5 million

Like Kelly, the four-star general made most of his money from government pension. He also sits as a director of General Dynamics. 

REUTERS/Ed Jones/Pool

Jeff Sessions: $6 million (Attorney General)

Sessions owns more than 1,500 acres in Alabma that are worth at least $2.5 million. The rest of his fortune is in Vanguard mutual funds and municipal bonds, according to Forbes.

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Tom Price, Secretary of Health and Human Services: $10 million

Price ran an orthopedic clinic in Atlanta for 20 years, then taught orthopedic surgery as an assistant porfessor at his alma mater, Emory.

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation: $24 million

The daughter of a shipping magnate owes the buld of her and her husband Mitch McConnell’s wealth to her family. 

REUTERS/Carlos Barria

Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: $29 million 

The neurosurgeon earned millions from books he penned, media roles and speaking gigs. He also served as a director at Kellogg and Costco, accumulating more than $6 million in stocks. 

REUTERS/Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus/File Photo

Andy Puzder, Secretary of Labor: $45 million 

The CEO of CKE Restaurants, which owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, has earned at least $25 million in salary and bonuses since 2000.

(Photo by Al Seib/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

Steven Mnuchin, Secretary of the Treasury: $300 million 

The former Goldman Sachs partner purchased subprime mortgage lender IndyMac for $1.6 billion in 2009 with a group of billionaire investors and sold it for $3.4 billion six years later.

(Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State: $325 million

The former ExxonMobil chairman and CEO accumulated more than 2.6 million shares of company stock in his tenure and hefty pay packages, according to Forbes.

(BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Betsy DeVos, Secretary of Education: $1.25 billion

The daughter of a shipping magnate owes the bulk of her and her husband Mitch McConnell’s wealth to her family.

(Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce: $2.5 billion 

Known as the "King of Bankruptcy," the former banker bought bankrupt companies and later selling them for a large profit.

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Mulvaney argues that the president can keep his campaign promise and still enact entitlement reform by framing the act of saving Social Security, and that the replacing Obamacare is a good place to start.

"Clearly, you can help fix and solve Medicaid as part of this larger Obamacare replacement, right, that the two things are tied together. So if we get Obamacare replacement right, it might also allow us to fix Medicaid," Mulvaney said.

During his confirmation hearings in January, Mulvaney told members of the Senate Budget Committee he was committed to advising President Trump to make "difficult decisions today in order to avoid nearly impossible ones tomorrow" on entitlement reform.

Many Republicans support making cuts they say will ensure the programs' long-term solvency, a platform then presidential candidate Trump rebuked during the 2016 election.

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"I'm not going to cut Social Security like every other Republican and I'm not going to cut Medicare or Medicaid," said Trump in 2016.

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus more recently tempered Trump's stance ahead of his inauguration saying, "I don't think President-elect Trump wants to meddle with Medicare or Social Security."

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