After he went golfing with President Trump on Sunday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), an outspoken opponent of AHCA, said that he and Trump are much closer than before to repealing Obamacare, adding that he is “very optimistic.”
Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, a founding member of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, which deified Trump and held fast against AHCA, joined Paul and Trump on the outing. Paul stated, “We had a great day with the president. We did talk about some health care reform. I think the sides are getting closer and closer together. And I remain very optimistic that we will get an Obamacare repeal.”
Trump had warned Freedom Caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC), “Oh Mark, I’m coming after you.” Last Thursday, Trump tweeted, “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!”
The Post and Courier reported Mulvaney told U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford (R-NC), a member of the Freedom Caucus, “The president asked me to look you square in the eyes and to say that he hoped that you voted ‘no’ on this bill so he could run (a primary challenger) against you in 2018.” Sanford has repeatedly called for Trump to release his tax returns and chided Trump for his rhetoric.
On Saturday, Dan Scavino, a senior White House aide and Trump’s social media director for his presidential campaign, targeted Freedom Caucus member Justin Amash, tweeting: