Trump slams McCain as a ‘let down’ over ObamaCare repeal

Trump slams McCain as a ‘let down’ over ObamaCare repeal
© Getty Images

President Trump on Saturday said Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress Defense bill moves forward with lawmakers thinking about McCain How House Republicans scrambled the Russia probe MORE (R-Ariz.) “let down” his party, the people of Arizona and “his best friend” by opposing the GOP’s latest attempt to repeal and replace ObamaCare.

In a series of tweets on Saturday morning, Trump criticized McCain's announced decision from the day before that he could not "in good conscience" vote for the health care legislation that the Trump administration has been lobbying for in the Senate.

Trump alleged that McCain had been influenced in his decision by Senate Minority Leader Chuck SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerSchumer: GOP efforts to identify FBI informant 'close to crossing a legal line' Patients deserve the 'right to try' How the embassy move widens the partisan divide over Israel MORE (D-N.Y.) in his decision to oppose the bill co-authored by Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyGOP, Dem lawmakers come together for McCain documentary Graham working on new ObamaCare repeal bill GOP senator says US should 'confiscate' money from Mexican cartels to build border wall MORE (R-La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGraham: Trump will 'end North Korea’s threat to the American homeland' in his first term Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers weigh in after Texas school shooting Kim Jong Un surprises with savvy power plays MORE (R-S.C.).

ADVERTISEMENT

"Sad," Trump wrote.

"McCain let his best friend L.G. down!" Trump added. McCain had acknowledged he struggled in his opposition to the health care legislation in part because of its authors.

“The bill’s authors are my dear friends, and I think the world of them. I know they are acting consistently with their beliefs and sense of what is best for the country. So am I," McCain said in a statement Friday.

Graham, who is one of McCain's best friends, released a statement immediately following McCain's announcement that reaffirmed their friendship as "not based on how he votes but respect for how he’s lived his life and the person he is."

With McCain opposing the Graham-Cassidy legislation, added to Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulKentucky Dems look to vault themselves in deep-red district Overnight Defense: Senate confirms Haspel as CIA chief | Trump offers Kim 'protections' if he gives up nukes | Dem amendments target Trump military parade Hillicon Valley: Lawmakers target Chinese tech giants | Dems move to save top cyber post | Trump gets a new CIA chief | Ryan delays election security briefing | Twitter CEO meets lawmakers MORE's (R-Ky.) previous opposition, the Republican bill looks doomed to defeat. The GOP cannot afford any more defections and several other Republican votes also look unlikely. However, Trump tweeted that he thinks Paul is open to convincing.

"I know Rand Paul and I think he may find a way to get there for the good of the party!" he wrote. 

However, Paul on Friday pushed back against Trump’s effort to pressure him over his vote on the bill, saying that he "won't be bribed or bullied."

Trump warned Friday that Paul would forever be known as "'the Republican who saved ObamaCare’” over his opposition to the legislation.

The president also tweeted Saturday about Alaska's GOP Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiTrump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress GOP, Dem lawmakers come together for McCain documentary Dem rep to launch discharge petition to force net neutrality vote in House MORE, another key vote for the bill. "Lisa M comes through," he suggested. 

Murkowski and McCain both voted against the last Senate Republicans' bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare in July. They, along with Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsTrump's plan to claw back spending hits wall in Congress Dem rep to launch discharge petition to force net neutrality vote in House Hillicon Valley: Senate votes to save net neutrality | Senate panel breaks with House, says Russia favored Trump in 2016 | Latest from Cambridge Analytica whistleblower | Lawmakers push back on helping Chinese tech giant MORE (R-Maine), were the deciding votes in the bill's defeat on the Senate floor. No Democrats voted for the legislation.

Collins has said she is "leaning against" the current bill.

The remarks on Twitter were harsher than Trump’s condemnation of McCain the previous night at a rally in Alabama.

"John McCain, if you look at his last campaign, it was all about repeal and replace, repeal and replace," Trump told the crowd. "So he decided to do something different, and that's fine."

He also pledged that Republicans would repeal and replace ObamaCare “eventually.”