President Donald Trump blasted the House Freedom Caucus on Thursday, threatening to back challengers to members of the conservative group that helped block the GOP healthcare bill last week.
“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!” Trump wrote.
Trump has increasingly lit into members of the conservative caucus for failing to support the American Health Care Act, the bill backed by the president and GOP leadership to replace President Barack Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the Affordable Care Act.
Though he initially blamed Democrats for the failure of his bill, Trump on Sunday said the opposition party was “smiling” at Republicans’ inability to repeal the ACA, which is better known as Obamacare.
Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 26, 2017
He attacked the caucus again in a tweet Monday.
“The Republican House Freedom Caucus was able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. After so many bad years they were ready for a win!” Trump said.
Trump’s repeated criticism of the caucus suggests he won’t easily forget who sank his first major attempt to pass legislation.
In recent days, Trump has floated working with Democrats on healthcare legislation, a prospect at which GOP leadership has bristled.