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Politico: Trump Blindsided by GOP Healthcare Bill Implosion

Image: Politico: Trump Blindsided by GOP Healthcare Bill Implosion
(AP)

By Jeffrey Rodack   |   Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 07:32 AM

President Donald Trump was blindsided by the collapse of the Republican healthcare bill, Politico reported.

He had met with some Republican lawmakers at the White House over dinner on Monday to strategize on how to push the bill through the Senate and warned of political peril if they didn't repeal and replace Obamacare after promising to do it for years, according to the website.

"He basically said, if we don't do this, we're in trouble," Politico quoted one person briefed on the meeting. "That we have the Senate, House and White House and we have to do it or we're going to look terrible."

But while the meeting was going on, two Republican senators — who had not been among the invitees — were drafting statements saying they could not support the GOP healthcare plan, the website said.

"Trump had no idea the statements were coming, according to several White House and congressional officials," Politico's Josh Dawsey wrote. "His top aides were taken aback, and the White House was soon on the phone with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell."

GOP Sens. Mike Lee of Utah and Jerry Moran of Kansas said they would not vote for the healthcare bill. They joined Republican Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Susan Collins of Maine who had come out against it, The Washington Post reported.

Since all 46 Senate Democrats and two independents were expected to vote against the healthcare bill, Republicans could only afford to lose two votes within the GOP, the newspaper noted.

Meanwhile, Trump has privately wondered why lawmakers don't listen to him, Politico noted.

And White House officials concede they had purposely selected veteran lawmakers they viewed as allies to attend the dinner meeting at the White House with Trump on Monday.

"None of the people at the dinner were the ones they should have been worried about," Politico quoted one person involved in the discussions.

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President Donald Trump was blindsided by the collapse of the Republican healthcare bill, Politico reported.
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