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>> Republican divisions on vivid display as President Trump takes on far-right conservatives. I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington, where Trump is opening a new offensive against his fellow Republicans in the House Freedom Caucus. The holdout to help steer his Obamacare replacement into a brick wall last week. And they're firing right back in an extraordinary internal battle that threatens the GOP's ability to get much of anything done.
Just when it seemed most of the finger pointing had subsided from Friday's healthcare debacle, Trump unleashing a 9 AM blast. Tweeting, the Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, and fast. We must fight them, and Democrats, in 2018! That's a naked threat by Trump to campaign against the three dozen members of the caucus in next year's elections.
But several caucus members showing defiance. Michigan Representative Justin Amash calling the tweet fifth grade bullying. And charging that the Washington swamp that Trump had vowed to drain was draining him instead. Kentucky Representative Thomas Massey pointing out that Trump's health plan was deeply unpopular with the public. Trump's still bitter after he met with members of that hard right group multiple times last week, making numerous concessions.
Only to see them publicly oppose his plan to repeal and replace President Barack Obama's Affordable Care Act. The episode putting his deal maker image in jeopardy. Trump now threatening to use all the powers of his office to make their lives miserable and bypass the House Freedom Caucus to work with Democrats on health reform.
But House Speaker Paul Ryan saying that's not going to happen.>> They're not going to help us repeal Obamacare, that's my point.>> He needs the caucus votes to hold onto his Republican majority. Saying it's up to his party to overcome their differences and pass a health plan that reduces government's role.
It's extraordinary to see a president threaten the campaign against members of his own party, especially since the midterm election are still more than 18 months away. That's more than enough time for this sour grapes to ferment into vinegar, leaving the bad taste in everyone's mouth.>> Thank you.