Trump Vows To 'Fight' Freedom Caucus In 2018


President Donald Trump wants to wage war against members of his own party who make up the Freedom Caucus, a group of libertarian-leaning Republicans who managed to stop the GOP's health care alternative to the Affordable Care Act.

"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 said on Twitter.

And that wasn't the first time the president took to Twitter to denounce the Freedom Caucus.

"The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!" Trump tweeted on March 24, shortly before Majority Speaker Paul Ryan pulled the legislation from a planned vote because it didn't have enough support to pass.

"Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & [Obamacare]!" Trump tweeted on March 26 in the aftermath of his first major legislative defeat as president.

The next day, Trump tweeted: "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's tirade against the Freedom Caucus over the past week elicited a response from Republican Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, a prominent and outspoken member of the group.

"It didn't take long for the swamp to drain [Donald Trump]," Amash tweeted, referring to the president's promise to "drain the swamp" of the Washington, D.C., political elite while still on the 2016 presidential campaign trail. "No shame, Mr. President. Almost everyone succumbs to the D.C. Establishment."

Republican Rep. Jim Jordan, a co-founder of the Freedom Caucus, said that despite disagreements over health care, Republicans should work together on the budget and debt ceiling, both of which are expected to be fierce political battles in the coming months.

"Look, I'm not here to assign blame to anyone," Jordan told Fox News, according to Reuters. "I actually think we better get this right because there are a lot of big things coming."

He added: "We better get it right now, figure out how we're going to work together to do what we told the American people we were going to do, and not just pass a bill that no one supports."

Despite Trump failing to replace the Affordable Care Act with a Republican-approved alternative -- one of his major campaign promises -- the president remained optimistic that a deal could be worked out "very quickly," reported Reuters.

Sources: Reuters, Donald J. Trump/Twitter, Justin Amash/Twitter / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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