Trump says he'll look into nominee for drug czar

Last Updated Oct 16, 2017 4:25 PM EDT

President Trump said Monday that he will "make a change" if the actions of his drug czar nominee during the opioid crisis have been "negative."

"If I think it's 1 percent negative to doing what we want to do, I will make a change," Mr. Trump told CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett at an impromptu news conference at the White House.

The president's comments came after a joint investigation by CBS' "60 Minutes" and The Washington Post on the opioid crisis. The report found that Congress helped disarm the Drug Enforcement Administration during the height of the crisis.

Mr. Trump's nominee to be federal drug czar, Rep. Tom Marino, R-Pennsylvania, was the chief advocate for the bill at the center of the investigation.

A bill introduced by Marino and Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tennessee, weakened the DEA's authority to stop companies from distributing opioids.

"We're going to look at that very closely," Mr. Trump told Garrett on Monday.

The president said he hadn't spoken to Marino about Sunday's report.

"He's a good man," Mr. Trump said. "I have not spoken to him, but I will speak to him, and I'll make that determination."

Mr. Trump also pledged a "major announcement" next week on the national opioid epidemic.

Asked by Garrett about declaring a national emergency, he said, "We are going to be doing that next week."

Marino's nomination is pending before the Senate Judiciary Committee, CBS News Radio White House correspondent Steven Portnoy reports. Mr. Trump sent up the nomination in early September.

A staffer for Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa and the committee's chairman, said Marino has yet to submit the questionnaire given to him by the committee, and as a result a confirmation hearing hasn't been scheduled.