President Donald Trump confirmed that he privately called the House Republicans’ health care bill “mean,” the same legislation he publicly celebrated with a ceremony in the White House Rose Garden.
Asked about former President Barack Obama’s response to the Senate version of the bill, unveiled Thursday, Trump said that his predecessor, who blasted the legislation’s “fundamental meanness,” had appropriated “my term.”
“He used my term: ‘mean,’” Trump told “Fox and Friends” in an interview that aired Sunday. “That was my term, because I want to see — and I speak from the heart — that’s what I want to see. I want to see a bill with heart.”
Based on unnamed congressional sources, it had been reported earlier this month that Trump told GOP senators during a private meeting that the House bill was “mean,” and the Senate version should be “more generous.”
In his latest comments, he again criticized Democrats for being “obstructionists” in the health care debate, saying the process for passing a new bill on the issue should be “so easy.”
“It would be so great if the Democrats and Republicans could get together, wrap their arms around it, and come up with something that everybody’s happy with. It’s so easy!” he said. “But we won’t get one Democrat vote. Not one. And if it were the greatest bill ever proposed in mankind, we wouldn’t get a vote. And that’s a terrible thing.”
Earlier this year, Trump lamented that “nobody knew health care could be so complicated.”
The interview shown on Sunday’s “Fox and Friends” program was the second time within the last few days the Trump-friendly network has broadcast comments by him.
During an interview that aired Friday, he discussed how he had falsely insinuated that he had “tapes” of his private conversations with FBI director James Comey before he fired him from that post. His interviewer, Ainsley Earhardt, praised the president’s subterfuge as “smart.”
Trump’s last non-Fox interview was on May 11, with NBC’s Lester Holt, in which he all but admitted that he had fired Comey because of “this Russia thing.”