Fox News host Sean Hannity sided with the Freedom Caucus on Thursday in its feud with President Trump, saying he didn’t think the conservative lawmakers were at fault for last week's failure of the GOP healthcare bill.
“Now, in my opinion, it’s not the Freedom Caucus that's responsible for the GOP failure in this case to repeal and replace ObamaCare,” Hannity, a vocal supporter of Trump, said on his prime-time program.
“Now, this legislation was flawed from the beginning. It was created behind closed doors. Not one single member saw the bill until it was rolled out. And that made it a disaster,” he said.
After House leaders pulled the bill, Trump called members of the Freedom Caucus “friends of mine.”
But he has since attacked members of the group, which he has publicly blamed for the repeal effort's failure.
In a series of tweets, Trump threatened to back primary challenges against members and targeted three top Freedom Caucus leaders by name.
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
In rare criticism of the president, Hannity said that Trump's anger was “misplaced.”
“Now I don't know who's telling the White House to focus their anger on the Freedom Caucus, but I do think it's misplaced," Hannity said. "Because the Freedom Caucus, I've talked to them, they want to make a deal, and they want the win for the president and the country.”
Many Freedom Caucus members opposed the GOP bill, as did a number of centrist Republican lawmakers.