WASHINGTON — President Trump expressed confidence Sunday — both on social media and the golf course — that he and aides can somehow resurrect their attempt to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law.
Hours before hitting the links with one of his critics on health care — Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky — Trump tweeted: "Anybody (especially Fake News media) who thinks that Repeal & Replace of ObamaCare is dead does not know the love and strength in R Party!"
Trump, who took a political hit last month when House Republicans failed to agree on an alternative health care plan, also tweeted: "Talks on Repealing and Replacing ObamaCare are, and have been, going on, and will continue until such time as a deal is hopefully struck."
Hours later, Trump — who during his 2016 campaign criticized Obama frequently for playing golf — headed to his golf club in northern Virginia; the White House said the president played a round with Paul and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.
"They're discussing a variety of topics, including healthcare," said White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham.
The health care issue generated friction between Trump and some conservative Republicans. They include Paul and members of the House Freedom Caucus, which blocked consideration of a Trump-backed health care bill, saying it did not reduce enough government regulations.
The president even took the step of threatening primary challenges to members of the House Freedom Caucus; members said they won't be intimidated.
"Competition is fine," said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, speaking on CNN's State of the Union, noting that the health care bill backed by Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan also lacked strong public support.
"What concerns me more than this threat of primaries is keeping our word with the American people," Jordan told CNN. "And, as I said, you would think even Congress should be able to put together a piece of legislation that more than 17% of our fellow citizens like."
Anybody (especially Fake News media) who thinks that Repeal & Replace of ObamaCare is dead does not know the love and strength in R Party!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2017
Talks on Repealing and Replacing ObamaCare are, and have been, going on, and will continue until such time as a deal is hopefully struck.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 2, 2017