Tea Party leader Mark Meckler on Thursday told The Hill he is “disgusted” by President Trump’s attacks on the conservative House Freedom Caucus over the GOP’s failed healthcare bill.
“The man who promised to ‘Drain the Swamp’ now appears to be the ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon,’ ” said Meckler, who co-founded the Tea Party Patriots and whose new group, Citizens for Self Governance, has a database of 2 million conservative activists.
“He is now on the side of the swamp monsters,” Meckler added.
Trump earlier Thursday issued a threat to the Freedom Caucus, warning them to “get on the team” or he would target them in the 2018 midterm elections.
The Freedom Caucus will hurt the entire Republican agenda if they don't get on the team, & fast. We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2017
The GOP’s ObamaCare repeal plan was dramatically pulled from the House floor last week after Trump and Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanPaul Ryan researched narcissistic personality disorder after Trump win: book Paul Ryan says it's 'really clear' Biden won election: 'It was not rigged. It was not stolen' Democrats fret over Trump-district retirements ahead of midterms MORE (R-Wis.) could not garner enough support among Republicans to pass the bill. Conservatives in the Freedom Caucus felt the bill did not go far enough, while some centrist Republicans opposed it as well.
Meckler and others on the right have warned that Trump risked losing his grassroots base by whipping support for the healthcare bill.
Many conservatives have so far directed their anger at Ryan and GOP leadership, who they say misled the president on the legislation.
But Trump’s attack on the Freedom Caucus could open up a rift with grassroots conservatives, who have defended the president against criticism over his support for the bill.