War escalates between Trump and House Freedom Caucus

So, former president Barack Obama can claim the economy was improving at the end of his term, and President Donald Trump can claim the economy was improving at the start of his term.

Moderates seem increasingly anxious that conservatives may try to shift the blame of the health care bill's failure on them, as President Donald Trump continues to lay into the Freedom Caucus on Twitter.

Trump vowed to "fight" Freedom Caucus lawmakers - members of his own party - in the 2018 midterm election.

The tweet was the latest step in Trump's apparent evolution from blaming Democrats to members of his own party for the biggest defeat his White House has faced so far.

It did not change hearts or minds.

Trump's deteriorating relationship with Republican House conservatives could make it harder for him to pass his legislative agenda, which includes rewriting the USA tax code, revisiting a healthcare overhaul and funding construction of a wall along the U.S. Remember who your real friends are.

And Rep. Raul Labrador of Idaho, who criss-crossed the country to campaign for Trump a year ago, tweeted what may have been a veiled shot at House Speaker Paul Ryan.

"We have come a long way in our country when the speaker of one party urges a president NOT to work with the other party to solve a problem", Corker wrote on Twitter.

This absurd situation was illustrated Thursday when House Speaker Paul Ryan, appearing on "CBS This Morning", tried to explain why he wants to lead yet another suicide charge up Health Care Hill. Ryan's reasoning - correctly - is that if the president needs Democrats to pass major legislation, it will be a lot less conservative than anything the speaker hopes to enact in the next two years.

In another sign of possible fallout from last week, Ryan on Thursday morning hosted more than a dozen conservative free-market and anti-abortion leaders in his office, including Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, Matt Schlapp of the American Conservative Union and Douglas Holtz-Eakin of American Action Forum.

"I understand the frustration", Ryan said.

"Trumpcare looked nearly exactly like Obamacare with a couple of things taken out, and I think the biggest problem was that Trump himself wasn't really involved in most of it", Cox said. "He's been suggesting that as much".

Following Trump's tweet, several Republican members of Congress also served up pointed pushback, with Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky mocking, "It's a swamp not a hot tub".

Ryan repeated that "90%" of his caucus is for the health care measure, but would not commit to a timeline on holding another vote. In that event, Democrats will be integral to the process because of the 60-vote hurdle to do most of the legislating in the Senate.

"There is a better way to negotiate a positive outcome than for the president to use the approach of lumping the Freedom Caucus in with Democrats, setting them up as the enemy of the people", said JoAnn Fleming, the Texas-based executive director of Grassroots America, who has deep contacts throughout the Texas grass-roots conservative movement.

"Most people don't take well to being bullied", Rep.

So to sort through what this means for Republicans and the president is NPR political editor Domenico Montanaro.

For the moment, there's limited evidence that real work towards wrangling Democrats for Trump's agenda is taking place and even less evidence enough Democrats exist to make any effort along those lines worthwhile. But Himes hasn't heard from the president.

The White House looks hopeless, too. "We're totally willing to engage in that, provided that it's consistent with our values". Mark Warner said. "The Russians employed thousands of paid Internet trolls and "botnets" to push out disinformation and fake news at a high volume". "We gave them everything".

But Ryan on Thursday said he was sympathetic to the president's angry tweet, which came a day after a number of outside conservative groups met with White House senior officials to discuss the president's agenda, including the failed health bill.

Seeking to head off another shutdown fight, GOP leaders and the appropriations committees are working behind the scenes on a bill to enact the remaining 11 spending bills at previously agreed to spending levels that conservatives opposed in the past.

  • Joanne Flowers