CNN  — 

President Donald Trump has told people around him that he’s under pressure to utilize the authorities given to him under the Defense Production Act, after he spent the weekend fielding criticism over why he hasn’t mandated that private companies mass produce needed medical supplies during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Sunday, Trump’s coronavirus task force had a briefing scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET, but the President wanted it moved to “prime time,” according to two people familiar with what happened. The White House pushed the briefing until 5:00 p.m., then 5:30 p.m. and the President finally entered the room nearly an hour and a half after it was initially scheduled to begin.

Trump told aides he wanted to be at the microphone during optimal viewing hours – and his appearance came after he spent the day paying close attention to appeals from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who called on him to use the Defense Production Act instead of having states get into “a mad bidding war” over supplies.

Trump signed the act that grants him authority to direct private companies to ramp up production of needed supplies last week, but has refused to wield his powers for now.

Shortly after announcing he would be invoking the Defense Production Act, the White House received pushback from business leaders who expressed concern that the act which could cause major unforeseen problems, including profit loss.

A source familiar with these closed door conversations described the sentiment as “just tells us what we need to do and we’ll do it,” as long as the Defense Production Act was not in use. Trump confirmed this Sunday, saying when the war powers act was announced “it sent tremors” through the business community.

Trump appeared to paraphrase what some have asked him about how the act will be used.

“What are you doing? … You’re going to take away companies? You’re going to tell companies what to do?” he said, appearing to paraphrase the questions he received.

There has been an internal divide in the West Wing over whether to move forward with it or to continue to let companies voluntarily speed up production without orders from the federal government. Health care providers have bluntly warned they do not have the protective gear or medical equipment to treat an influx of coronavirus patients, and state officials have said attempts to get more supplies has turned into a free-for-all.

The divide over how to proceed was on full display when Peter Navarro, Trump’s trade adviser who is not on the coronavirus task force, stepped up to the microphone Sunday. Navarro was one official who urged Trump to sign the Defense Production Act initially, but has argued doing that has given the administration leverage over private companies and the next step is not necessary yet.

“We’re getting what we need without putting the heavy hand of government down,” Navarro said Sunday.

Navarro has taken a leading role in coordinating the supply chain with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which he acknowledged to CNN.

“My job at the White House now is to help marry the full force of the federal government with the full power of private enterprise to mobilize our industrial base and thereby quickly get what we need, most urgently Personal Protective Equipment such as masks and gloves and testing kit element like swabs,” Navarro told CNN.

“It’s been enormously helpful that the President signed the DPA last week. We’ve seen a noticeable uptick in the intensity of that mobilization, and my office is using the DPA every day as quiet leverage to turbocharge the great outpouring of volunteer efforts from the business community,” he added.

But it’s still not clear that the administration has a well thought out strategy to get private companies to voluntarily produce enough medical supplies without purchasing guarantees.

While several forces inside the White House, including Larry Kudlow, have told the President he does not need to utilize the Defense Production Act, others have argued he should before it’s too late – a line of thinking that has stayed with the president in recent days.

Trump himself has caused confusion over the process. In a briefing Friday, he argued he had already used the act, though aides later clarified he had only signed it and the status had remained unchanged, which his FEMA administrator Pete Gaynor confirmed during an interview on CNN Sunday.

“If it comes to a point we have to pull the lever, we will,” Gaynor said.

Two people familiar with the President’s thinking said he’s now languishing in a place where neither side is satisfied by his moves on Defense Production Act. Those who wanted him to sign the act aren’t pleased because he did but isn’t using it. And the people who didn’t want him to sign it aren’t because he did, while holding out hope he won’t actually use it.

CNN’s Kristen Holmes contributed to this report.