Trump calls out Freedom Caucus Republicans by name on Twitter

Trump calls out Freedom Caucus Republicans by name on Twitter
President Donald Trump issued another critique of the Freedom Caucus members for not supporting his Obamacare replacement bill. (Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

President Donald Trump took to Twitter Thursday and named names of those Freedom Caucus Republicans he thinks are to blame for the crash of the American Health Care Act legislation meant to replace Obamacare.

The afternoon series of tweets pointed to an opinion piece at The Hill by Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), who explained why he supported the doomed bill despite his support of the Freedom Caucus.

Yes, I’m a conservative. I pal around with those liberty-loving Freedom Caucus guys. I get better grades on conservative scorecards than I ever received in college. And frankly, if you asked the Speaker, I think he’d tell you I’m a bit of a right-wing rabble-rouser.

“I supported the AHCA, and will continue to support it,” Buck said pointedly, “because a yes vote is the principled, conservative position.”

Trump contrasted Buck’s support with the lack of support he got from Freedom Caucus members, and named them outright.

“Great op-ed from @RepKenBuck,” Trump tweeted. “Looks like some in the Freedom Caucus are helping me end #Obamacare.”

“If @RepMarkMeadows, @Jim_Jordan and @Raul_Labrador would get on board we would have both great healthcare and massive tax cuts & reform,” he added with their Twitter handles tagged to make sure they saw the comment. “Where are @RepMarkMeadows, @Jim_Jordan and @Raul_Labrador?” He added the hashtags for “repeal and replace,” and “Obamacare.”

Earlier Thursday, he had issued what many saw as a threat to support efforts to replace those Freedom Caucus members who would not support the much-maligned Obamacare replacement bill.

Some Freedom Caucus members fought back, especially Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) and Rep. Raul Labrador (R-Idaho) who took to their own Twitter accounts.

Other members of the conservative group were more accommodating in hopes of moving ahead on health care and repeal of Obamacare with the president.

Republican infighting consumed the Capitol on Thursday, drowning out last-ditch attempts by GOP leaders to salvage their failed effort to replace Obamacare and threatening to sharpen the divisions that sank it in the first place. President Donald Trump threatened to drive hard-line conservatives from office after they led the opposition to his health care push. In return, one of them, Rep. Justin Amash, accused the president of becoming a creature of Washington. Then, House Speaker Paul Ryan warned that the GOP health care stalemate could drive Trump to work with Democrats.

Trump laid out his plan immediately after the bill’s failure, saying that he would allow Obamacare to “explode” and wait for Democrats to come to him looking for a deal. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) responded that Democrats would be willing to work with the president, but only if a repeal was off the table.

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