Dem senator: Trump using attacks to distract from healthcare

Sen. Christopher CoonsChristopher (Chris) Andrew CoonsSenate moderates hunt for compromise on family separation bill All the times Horowitz contradicted Wray — but nobody seemed to notice Hillicon Valley: Trump hits China with massive tech tariffs | Facebook meets with GOP leaders over bias allegations | Judge sends Manafort to jail ahead of trial | AT&T completes Time Warner purchase MORE (D-Del.) on Friday accused President Trump of attacking MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski as a way of deflecting from negative coverage of the Senate healthcare bill. 

Coons told CNN's "New Day" that the tweets were just one of Trump's tactics for getting the media to ignore problems in his administration.

"Frankly, this is just part of his ongoing tactic of distracting," Coons said Friday. "We've got a situation in Capitol Hill where the Senate Republican version of Trumpcare is floundering."

Coons targeted the Senate GOP's inability to pass its healthcare bill as the real reason for Trump's attack on the "Morning Joe" co-host.

"They had promised that they'd take a vote this week; they delayed that. They promised they'd have a revised version of it by Friday; they don't," Coons continued.

"And, frankly, I think this was the president once again lashing out at someone in the media, in this particular case in a personally offensive and unacceptable way, partly just to distract us." 

He said that Trump's plan worked, that the media was focused on Trump's tweets rather than healthcare.

"So, we are spending this morning talking about the president's tweets, and about an interpersonal fight between him and someone whom I respect," Coons said, "rather than talking about the impact on Americans, in my case on Delawareans, of the healthcare bill."

The Senate GOP is scrambling to save the Republican plan to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Nine GOP senators have announced their opposition to the bill in its current form, seven more than the GOP can afford.

On Tuesday, Senate Republicans decided to delay voting on the bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act until after the July Fourth recess after realizing they lacked the votes to pass it.