Trump squeezes 'no' vote Heller at healthcare lunch

President Trump sat next to Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerTrump’s shifting Cabinet to introduce new faces Trump's most memorable insults and nicknames of 2018 Progressive strategist says changing demographics will help Dems MORE (R-Nev.), an opponent of the Senate GOP's bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare, at a White House lunch designed to salvage the effort.

Trump used the seating arrangement to pressure Heller, joking about him wanting to “remain a senator.”

“Any senator who votes against debate says you are fine with ObamaCare,” Trump said.

Heller, considered one of the GOP’s most endangered 2018 incumbents, has a fraught relationship with the White House over his stance on healthcare.

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An outside group aligned with Trump announced last month it would launch a seven-figure ad buy against the Nevada senator for opposing the repeal-and-replace bill.

The group, America First Policies, scrapped the ads at the urging of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRomney calls on Steve King to resign after comments on white supremacy Don't underestimate the power of nationwide outrage born from financial desperation Top Dem introduces short-term spending bills to reopen government MORE (R-Ky.)

Trump used a strategic seating arrangement at the last all-senators healthcare meeting at the White House, placing himself between Sens. Lisa Murkowksi (R-Alaska) and Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsSenators restart shutdown talks — and quickly hit roadblocks TSA absences raise stakes in shutdown fight Don't underestimate the power of nationwide outrage born from financial desperation MORE (R-Maine).

Both senators opposed the repeal-and-replace plan and have said they would not vote to advance an alternative repeal-only bill backed by McConnell.

Sen. Tim ScottTimothy (Tim) Eugene ScottMcConnell rebukes Steve King over white nationalist comments Steve King faces new storm over remarks about white supremacy Pelosi says there's 'interest' in taking action on Steve King MORE (R-S.C.) sat on the other side of the president on Wednesday.

This report was updated at 12:55 p.m.