Speaker shares Trump criticism of Freedom Caucus

Posted March 31, 2017

Amash was one of the rebels against the Republican plan to repeal President Barack Obama's signature health care bill, along with others in the Freedom Caucus and some moderates.

As I noted in my column today, Trump and the Freedom Caucus don't have much in common except their hatred of the establishment - he's a populist deal-maker; they're conservative purists. More than two dozen members of the caucus reportedly united to say they would not support the bill prior to a vote being taken last week.

President Trump on Thursday Tweeted that Freedom Caucus members should be targeted for primary defeats in the 2018 mid-term elections.

"Where are @RepMarkMeadows, @Jim_Jordan and @Raul_Labrador? #RepealANDReplace #Obamacare", Trump tweeted.

But there is no consensus, even within the conservative faction, on details of a tax-reform bill, with some members open to discussing ideas such as the border tax plan supported by House leaders and others opposed to it.

When it came time to negotiate on the health care bill, the Freedom Caucus chose to go around House leadership and work directly with the White House.

But he's since criticized the Freedom Caucus for its resistance.

Thomas Fitton, the president of Judicial Watch - a conservative legal advocacy group that successfully sued the Obama administration for the release of Hillary Clinton's State Department emails - made a pointed pitch for the release of all documents pertaining to the Russian Federation controversy, according to people who attended the session in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House.

Trump's message wasn't subtle - nor was it random.

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"I understand the president's frustration".

The idea that Trump could turn away from his own party at this stage is, to a degree, theater created to spook the far-right of the party into line. It was a message echoed by Trump administration officials the weekend after the health care failure and repeated Thursday by Ryan, multiple people involved say.

Neither do some others in the Freedom Caucus, who might find that their own grassroots rise might be duplicated by more Trump-friendly populists in their districts.

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.

Now, some Freedom Caucus members are reassessing their no-compromise brand of conservatism, as their tactics fuel fresh resentment within the GOP.

The president made opioid abuse a major part of his campaign - particularly in New Hampshire, where more than 400 people died from opioids in 2016.

"I'm going to let the tweet for itself", White House spokesman Sean Spicer told reporters. If your mission is to "drain the swamp", this makes absolutely no sense. "No shame, Mr. President. Nearly everyone succumbs to the D.C. Establishment".

"I don't get too focused on who's tweeting what, who's saying what".