WASHINGTON (AP) — Don't cry for Henry Kissinger.
In an offhand remark Tuesday, President Donald Trump professed concern about the foreign policy maven's health insurance bills. He was stretching to make a point about "Obamacare."
Here's a look at Trump's comments on that matter and more Tuesday as well as a misbegotten attempt by the White House to blame a Republican senator for the Iran nuclear deal.
TRUMP: "Now, we're going to have to do something with Obamacare because it's failing. Henry Kissinger does not want to pay 116 percent increase in his premiums, but that's what's happening." — after meeting Kissinger.
THE FACTS: It is super safe to assume that Kissinger, 94, the former secretary of state and national security adviser, chairman of his own international consulting firm and prolific author, is not bothered by rising Obamacare premiums. It's also against the law for an insurer to sell an Obamacare plan to someone who's covered by Medicare.
It's also a pretty good bet that Trump didn't mean to be taken literally.
But it's unclear what Trump is referring to when he cites a 116 percent premium increase.
In Arizona this year, unsubsidized premiums for a hypothetical 27-year-old buying a benchmark Obamacare plan increased 116 percent, according to an earlier government estimate. That sticker price, however, could be reduced significantly with subsidies available to low- and moderate-income people.
TRUMP: "So GDP last quarter was 3.1 percent. Most of the folks that are in your business, and elsewhere, were saying that would not be hit for a long time. You know, Obama never hit the number." —interview with Forbes magazine.
THE FACTS: Yes, Barack Obama did, repeatedly. Growth topped 3 percent in eight quarters during Obama's presidency.
When Forbes pointed out that Obama had reached that benchmark, Trump amended his claim: "He never hit it on a yearly basis."
That's true. The economy never grew by more than 3 percent for a full calendar year under Obama. That hasn't happened since 2005. It is unlikely to happen this year, either.
TRUMP on Obama's health law: "What we're doing is trying to keep it afloat, because it's failing." — Forbes interview.
THE FACTS: He'd like to sink Obamacare. Short of that, it's true he has thrown at least a temporary lifeline to the health insurance markets set up under the law. Despite his threats to cut off payments to insurers that help reduce consumers' copays and deductibles, his administration has continued making the payments month to month.
Yet his administration has announced sharp cuts in programs promoting health care enrollment under the law for next year.
Advertising will be cut from $100 million spent on 2017 sign-ups to $10 million, according to health officials. As well, money for consumer helpers called "navigators" will be cut about 40 percent. And the enrollment season for the subsidized individual-insurance market will be considerably shorter for 2018, running from Nov. 1-Dec. 15 this year.
TRUMP: "I've had just about the most legislation passed of any president, in a nine-month period, that's ever served. We had over 50 bills passed. I'm not talking about executive orders only, which are very important. I'm talking about bills." — Forbes interview.
THE FACTS: He's signed little of consequence into law, a thin record all the more striking because of the Republican majority in the House and Senate. His record pales not just next to Franklin Roosevelt's but with Obama's and others.
All presidents sign routine legislation. Trump is no exception. Among the more than 50 bills he's enacted with his signature: legislation naming a Veterans Affairs health clinic in Butler County, Pennsylvania, after Bataan Death March survivor Abie Abraham, appointing a regent at the Smithsonian Institution, and naming a federal building and courthouse in Nashville, Tennessee, after late Sen. Fred Thompson.
He's also signed emergency aid for hurricane victims.
The only far-reaching bill he's signed is one he didn't like but went along with, tightening sanctions on Russia and Iran. Meantime, his promised repeal and replacement of Obama's health care law has yet to materialize after twice failing in Congress.
His proposed tax overhaul is in play, not in place, and the big-ticket infrastructure initiative he promised hasn't come to Congress.
FDR, in contrast, pushed through more than a dozen historic laws in his first 100 days, never mind nine months, setting in place the pillars of his New Deal to combat the Depression. Obama signed an enormous stimulus package into law in his first month, while also succeeding in getting a law expanding health care for children and the Lilly Ledbetter bill on equal pay for women, also in 100 days.
SARAH HUCKABEE SANDERS, White House spokeswoman: "Senator Corker worked with Nancy Pelosi and the Obama administration to pave the way for that legislation and basically rolled out the red carpet for the Iran deal." — briefing Tuesday.
TRUMP tweet Sunday: "He is also largely responsible for the horrendous Iran Deal!"
THE FACTS: Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, had no role in crafting the 2015 international agreement forged by the U.S. and other world powers to constrain Iran's ability to build a nuclear arsenal. Corker actually was a vocal opponent of the accord and argued President Barack Obama should have made the seven-nation pact a treaty subject to approval by the Senate.
When Obama didn't do that, Corker helped fellow senators write legislation that subjected the international accord to periodic congressional review. The legislation also would have stopped the deal from moving forward if that effort got enough votes. It didn't. In any event, the ultimate decision to bring the deal into effect was made by Obama, not Congress.
Associated Press writers Donna Cassata, Christopher S. Rugaber, Josh Boak and Richard Lardner contributed to this report.
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