Pres. Donald Trump is reportedly “red hot” with rage over the failure of his healthcare bill — which Republicans pulled from consideration before it even reached a vote on Friday — and eager to punish Republicans like the House of Representatives’ Freedom Caucus who contributed to the bill’s failure.
Meanwhile, according to Politico, vicious infighting in the House between the far-right Freedom Caucus — led by Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) and the more moderate “Tuesday Group” — headed by Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA) — is making negotiations with the White House even more complicated.
The Daily Beast said on Sunday that aides like senior advisor Reince Priebus are urging Trump to move on, but the president is determined that Republicans who showed disloyalty to his administration must pay a price.
Furthermore, the New York Times said on Sunday, the collapse of the administration’s first-ever legislative push has opened old wounds between “establishment” Republicans like Ryan and Priebus and the “alt-right” wing of the administration as represented by former Breitbart.com CEO Stephen K. Bannon.
Priebus appeared on Sunday’s talking head shows saying that the administration is eager to put the loss behind themselves and get to work on tax reform and border security.
“I think it’s time for our folks to come together and I also think it’s time to potentially get a few moderate Democrats on board as well,” the former RNC chair sunnily said on “Fox News Sunday.”
According to the Beast’s Andrew Desiderio, however, Pres. Trump apparently didn’t get that memo.
“Trump wasn’t sanguine about the loss. He was red hot. Trump reportedly pushed for the vote to happen on Friday afternoon to publicly humiliate disloyal Republicans on live television. (Trump backed down and the bill was pulled instead.) Nevertheless, his chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon told him Trump ‘keep a shit list’ of Republicans who fought him,” wrote Desiderio. “On Saturday morning, Trump started checking off that list.”
Trump directed his Twitter followers to watch Judge Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News show on Saturday — in which Pirro called for Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)’s ouster as Speaker of the House, however Trump and Pirro deny coordinating on the attack on Ryan.
On Sunday, Trump sarcastically congratulated the Freedom Caucus for helping Democrats save Planned Parenthood and Obamacare.
Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 26, 2017
Budget Director Mick Mulvaney blamed the “rotten” culture of Washington and entrenched enmities within the GOP.
“This place [Washington, D.C.] was a lot more rotten than we thought that it was—and that I thought it was because I’ve been here for six years. I know the Freedom Caucus. I helped found it. I never thought it would come to this,” he said on Sunday’s “Meet the Press.”