Despite publicly encouraging the House Republicans’ health care bill upon its passing, President Donald Trump has confirmed that he privately called the bill “mean,” Huffington Postreports.
In a Fox and Friends interview that aired this weekend, Trump’s confession came up when discussing former President Barack Obama’s response to the Senate’s bill earlier this week. Referring to Obama writing about Trump’s legislation’s “fundamental meanness,” Trump said, “Well, he actually used my term: ‘mean’. 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.”
Allegations of Trump calling the House’s version of the bill mean arose last month when “unnamed congressional sources” claimed he had done so and that he also believed the Senate’s edition should be “more generous.” CNN reports that even though White House press secretary Sean Spicer recently refused to comment on the speculation, Trump’s interview proves that even the president wasn’t the biggest fan of the House’s bill.
This confirmation is particularly controversial because of Trump’s positive comments about the House bill when it was passed last month. Trump called it “incredibly well-crafted” in a White House Rose Garden ceremony, but, according to CNN, he admitted to Republican senators this week that the House Bill didn’t protect enough “individuals in the marketplace.”
President Trump has admitted how difficult it can be for Democrats and Republicans to discuss health care together, but after this development, it’s clear that making such decisions is challenging even within one party.