The Trump administration can't seem to get its infrastructure plan straight, with President Trump and his chief economic adviser, Gary Cohn, contradicting each other within a 24-hour period on how spending will play out, The Washington Post reports. With the infrastructure plan as one of the main legislative goals for 2018, Trump surprised aides by raising doubts Friday about public-private building partnerships. On Saturday, Cohn nevertheless maintained that the administration wants to spend $200 billion to get the ball rolling on nearly $1 trillion in private and local spending.
A White House official said Trump was only "musing aloud" when he made the comments at Camp David and that the administration is expected to go forward with the public-private partnership plan, the Post writes. Trump, though, "doesn't think they will work," the official also admitted. Either way, the president's comments took some administration officials by surprise, as aides have worked for months on the plan and an official proposal is anticipated by the end of the month.
In an attempt to clarify the mixed messages, the White House said Sunday that the infrastructure plan is "very clear" and "based around two main goals: leveraging federal funds as efficiently as possible in order to generate over $1 trillion in infrastructure investment and expediting the burdensome and lengthy permitting process."