President Donald Trump reassured his Twitter followers that he would keep Social Security benefits safe from any possible cuts after an interview in which he implied he would be open to cuts in entitlement programs including Medicare.
During a Wednesday interview on CNBC, Trump said he would "take a look at" rolling back entitlements "at the right time" before quickly changing the topic to the strength of the U.S. economy and new trade deals with China, Canada and Mexico. The interview took place during the World Economic Summit in Davos, Switzerland.
The president did not say specifically whether Social Security cuts also would be under consideration later this year or what part of Medicare he would be willing to cut.
But the indication that he was open to cutting government programs such as Medicare provided fuel for Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., to use at a press conference.
"The president promised that unlike other Republicans, he wouldn't touch Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare. He's already broken that promise and gone after Medicare. Now it looks like Social Security is in the president's crosshairs as well," Schumer said at the outset of a press conference to discuss the Senate impeachment trial.
"Even as this important trial continues, Americans should hear that the president is casually talking about cutting their Social Security at a Swiss ski resort with the global financial elite," Schumer added.
Trump took to Twitter on Thursday afternoon to say that Social Security was not in danger.
"Democrats are going to destroy your Social Security. I have totally left it alone, as promised, and will save it!" Trump tweeted.
Conservatives have long sought to trim large government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid in an effort to rein in the federal debt.
The president promised during his first campaign that he would not cut funding for entitlement programs. He has at times signaled he would be willing to do so in a second term, but White House officials have consistently pushed back on the suggestion that he is preparing to do so definitively.