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Gohmert Claims Ryan, Priebus Ruined the Freedom Caucus's Meetings With Trump

In the fallout over the GOP's failed first attempt to repeal and replace Obamacare, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) is arguing that President Trump should remember who his friends are. Gohmert and his fellow conservative members of the House Freedom Caucus may have disagreed with Trump on the American Health Care Act, but the congressman argued that the caucus stood by him when House Speaker Paul Ryan abandoned him in the heat of the campaign last year. Remember, for instance, in late May when Ryan said he wasn't quite "ready" to endorse him?

Gohmert didn't blame Trump completely for the newfound tension between the White House and the Freedom Caucus. That deteriorating relationship, he argued, is thanks to pressure from Ryan and White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, who Gohmert called "establishment to the core."

Trump, Gohmert said, "was ready to make a deal" with the caucus after meeting with them on health care. Trump agreed with them "twice" after meeting, yet each time Ryan and Priebus pushed back.

When the Freedom Caucus left, Trump, Ryan and Priebus had a meeting and the result was "let’s go to war against the people that defended the president when Ryan and those guys said ‘abandon him,'” Gohmert recalled.

Gohmert said he and his colleagues could not support the GOP’s bill because it was eerily similar to the 2008 Wall Street bailout and President George W. Bush administration's Patriot Act. The Obama administration inherited and abused that authority and the AHCA gives the government even more power, Gohmert argued.

If the GOP leadership keeps pushing the AHCA through as is, the president’s administration will be defined as a “fraud,” he said.

“It is going to destroy his administration.” 

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