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

Trump slams McCain as a ‘let down’ over ObamaCare repeal
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President Trump on Saturday said Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCongress must use bipartisan oversight as the gold standard The Hill's Morning Report — Ford, Kavanaugh to testify Thursday as another accuser comes forward Trump hits McCain on ObamaCare vote 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 SchumerTrump, GOP regain edge in Kavanaugh battle READ: President Trump’s exclusive interview with Hill.TV The Hill's 12:30 Report — Trump slams Sessions in exclusive Hill.TV interview | Kavanaugh accuser wants FBI investigation MORE (D-N.Y.) in his decision to oppose the bill co-authored by Sens. Bill CassidyWilliam (Bill) Morgan CassidyOvernight Health Care: GOP plays defense over pre-existing conditions | Groups furious over new Trump immigration proposal | Public health advocates decry funding transfer over migrant children Overnight Health Care: Opioids package nears finish line | Measure to help drug companies draws ire | Maryland ObamaCare rates to drop Overnight Health Care: HHS diverts funds to pay for detaining migrant children | Health officials defend transfers | Lawmakers consider easing drug company costs in opioids deal MORE (R-La.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP opens door to holding Kavanaugh committee vote this week Press: Judge Kavanaugh must withdraw Kavanaugh: 'I will not be intimidated into withdrawing' MORE (R-S.C.).


"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 PaulA Senator Gary Johnson could be good not just for Libertarians, but for the Senate too Conservatives left frustrated as Congress passes big spending bills Senate approves 4B spending bill 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 MurkowskiPolice arrest 128 protesting Kavanaugh on Capitol Hill GOP launches counteroffensive on Kavanaugh Kavanaugh protesters descend on Collins, Flake offices on Capitol Hill 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 CollinsRosenstein faces Trump showdown Kavanaugh: I'm asking for a 'fair process' Collins: Second Kavanaugh accuser should speak with Senate panel under oath  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.”