Trump threatened Sanford with primary if he voted against Obamacare repeal

"The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, and fast".

The groups say they aim to shore up the president's sagging favorability ratings, build support for his Supreme Court justice nominee and loom as a 2018 election threat to lawmakers who oppose him.

Later Thursday, the President called out individual Freedom Caucus members in several tweets.

"Where are @RepMarkMeadows, @Jim_Jordan and @Raul_Labrador?"

The tweets represented a bold strike against the most conservative members of the House GOP coalition, who often come from safe districts and are frequently impervious to pressure from party leaders.

Asked during a briefing whether Trump's tweet about the Freedom Caucus was a "divide-and-conquer" strategy, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said: "No, it's a math strategy, which is to get to 216", the number of votes now needed to pass House legislation.

Ingraham, a Fox News contributor who was a candidate to serve as White House press secretary under Trump, joined Hannity's program on Thursday, where she said the "White House was not as involved as it should have been" on the health care effort. According to a 2015 Pew study of 36 known members, the group is further to the right than the rest of House Republicans. TAXES Trump has neither a clear White House tax plan nor adequate staff yet to see through a planned tax overhaul, according to interviews with people in the administration, in Congress and among US tax experts. Instead, Ryan has become an enabler of Trump's chaotic and ethically challenged governance. "I share his frustration", said Ryan.

PBS' Lisa Desjardins asked when Ryan expected to return to health care legislation.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I know that we're all going to make a deal on health care.

The dynamics of the House GOP conference - and how to try and bring it together - have been a repeated topic of conversation, sources tell CNN. While Trump's ideological flexibility could open the door for some agreement, the president also would still have to bridge divides within the Republican Party.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) deserves some credit for the AHCA's demise. The group also tweeted about health care and did a small digital buy supporting the bill.

Trump's call to fight the faction in 2018 is apt, as the USA midterm elections hold next year.

Hannity argued the Freedom Caucus is not to blame here, saying that the bill was "flawed from the beginning". After all, the President is not particularly tied into conservative orthodoxy.

Ryan enforced that message in the CBS interview, suggesting that Trump's patience was not infinite and he could be tempted to work with the other side if Republicans refuse to implement his agenda.

For their part, congressional Democrats offer a conditional response to the president's overtures: We're willing to work on bipartisan legislation, but we won't rubber stamp Trump's agenda. We still think offering Medicare to all Americans is the way to go.

Thus, most Freedom Caucus members would rather perform a reactionary rendition of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington on C-Span than support ideologically impure legislation that shifts American policy in the direction of their ideals. It resembles a public relations campaign, with a drum corps sound track and images of the president's rallies overlaid with text such as, "Results not common in Washington, D.C".

Meadows, uncharacteristically declined to weigh in on Trump's tweet. EPA The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's scientific integrity watchdog is reviewing whether EPA chief Scott Pruitt violated the agency's policies when he said in a television interview he does not believe carbon dioxide is driving global climate change, according to an email seen by Reuters. "Reince is not next", one senior White House official told CNN. "No comment. I try to always be accessible, but no comment". There was never a meeting scheduled with the Freedom Caucus.

"I don't know why anyone would be eager to get to yes", Amash said Wednesday.

The HFC, led by Chairman Mark Meadows, proved to be a formidable road block for Republican leadership.

But some caucus members are doubling down in their feud with the president.

Any effort by Trump to target conservative Republicans, simply because they want a better bill on health care, could cause similar deep divisions within the Republican Party, and perhaps even prompt a primary challenger to Trump himself in 2020.

He also told the reception, regarding a second attempt to make a deal on health care, "I have no doubt that that's going to happen very quickly".

  • Carolyn Briggs