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Trump says his administration is considering payroll tax cut, contradicting his own staff

Trump considering new tax cut
Trump considering new tax cut as recession fears rise 14:43

President Trump said Tuesday that he's thinking about pushing for a payroll tax cut, confirming an idea White House officials had denied only hours before.

Mr. Trump confirmed he's considering a payroll tax cut during an Oval Office meeting with the president of Romania. Earlier in the day, White House spokesman Hogan Gidley said of a payroll tax cut: "It's not being considered at this time." And on Monday, a White House official also told CBS News a payroll tax wasn't under consideration. 

But the president, who often functions as his own spokesman, confirmed the story first reported by The Washington Post that he is indeed looking at the possibility of pushing for a payroll tax to stimulate the economy. 

"A payroll tax is something that we think about and a lot of people would like to see that. That very much affects the workers of our country," Mr. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office on Tuesday.

Trump says he's considering cuts in capital gains and payroll taxes 02:16

A payroll tax cut would have to pass Congress first. The president also said in response to a question about what he's doing to head off a U.S. recession that he'd like to see the Federal Reserve cut interest rates. "I'd like to see a cut of the Fed rate, because they should have happened a long time ago. I think they're being very tardy not doing it and not having done it."

The White House insists that the economy is strong, even after the stock market tumbled last week, and as the White House delays tariffs on Chinese goods that were supposed to take effect next month. Mr. Trump and his top advisers have downplayed concerns about a potential recession. 

"Despite the irresponsible rhetoric of many in the mainstream media, the American economy is strong, and the U.S. economic outlook remains strong as well," Vice President Mike Pence told the Detroit Economic Club on Monday.

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