Fox News – The president hosted Paul, an eye doctor and Tea Party favorite with his own ObamaCare plan, at Trump National Golf Club, in Potomac Falls, Va., about 40 minutes from the White House.
They were joined by White House Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney, a founding member of the ultra-conservative House Freedom Caucus, which led the opposition to the Republican overhaul plan that failed last month in the GOP-controlled House.
White House official Stephanie Grisham said Sunday the threesome is discussing several issues, but that “health care is a big topic.”
Paul has argued his bill more fully repeals and replaces the 2010 health care law, under which consumers are facing rising costs and fewer policy options.
Trump has been critical of the Freedom Caucus and the majority of its roughly 35 members who were influential in stopping a vote on House Republican leadership’s overhaul plan.
Trump warned caucus Chairman Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., in a closed-door Capitol Hill meeting about not supporting the overhaul plan, saying, “Oh Mark, I’m coming after you.”
And in just the past few days, the president and the White House have singled out the Freedom Caucus and specific members for their non-support — including Michigan GOP Rep. Justin Amash and South Carolina GOP Rep. Mark Sanford, who is sponsoring the House version of Paul’s overhaul plan.
On 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!”
Also that day, The Post and Courier newspaper in South Carolina reported that Trump dared Sanford to vote against the overhaul bill.
Sanford said that Mulvaney told him: “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.”
On Saturday, White House social media Director Dan Scavino Jr. tweeted: “Donald Trump is bringing auto plants & jobs back to Michigan. @justinamash is a big liability. #TrumpTrain, defeat him in primary.”
Trump in recent days has also expressed a desire to revisit repealing and replacing ObamaCare, one of his major campaign promises.
“Talks on Repealing and Replacing ObamaCare are, and have been, going on, and will continue until such time as a deal is hopefully struck,” he tweeted Sunday before the golf match.
Trump invited Meadows and Texas GOP Sen. Mike Lee, another influential Capitol Hill conservative, to his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago the weekend before the scrapped House vote in an effort to win their support. However, Paul, an ardent opponent of the plan and a 2016 GOP primary candidate whom Trump defeated, did not attend.