“Steve is very committed,” Mr. Trump said. “He’s a friend of mine and he’s very committed to getting things passed.” The president said he understood Mr. Bannon’s criticism of Republican senators who have stood in the way of the Trump agenda.
“We are not getting the job done,” he said, “and I’m not going to blame myself, I’ll be honest. They are not getting the job done. I can understand where Steve Bannon is coming from.”
The president bragged that he is receiving “tremendous accolades” for his effort to cut taxes, and he expressed sadness at the loss of life in the Las Vegas shooting and in forest fires raging in California.
“It’s a very sad thing to watch,” Mr. Trump said of the fires.
For the first time since becoming president, Mr. Trump raised the prospect of widespread abuse of welfare payments and hinted that his administration would be making changes to the nation’s welfare system.
“People are taking advantage of the system and other people aren’t receiving what they need to live,” Mr. Trump said. “We are going to be looking very, very strongly, therefore, at welfare reform.”
“You’ll be hearing about them very shortly,” the president added. He did not say, specifically, what changes in the welfare system he would seek.
Mr. Trump predicted that Democrats and Republicans would soon work together on a temporary fix for health care issues, and took credit for any cooperation because he ended taxpayer subsidies to insurance companies that lower co-payments.
He also suggested that Congress should take on the issue of prescription drug prices, saying that companies often charge less in other countries for the same drugs.
“Drug companies are getting away with murder,” Mr. Trump said.