Trump declares war on Republican conservatives: 'We must fight them'

The earl-morning tweet from Trump highlighted the growing schism in a Republican party that controls the White House and both branches of Congress yet appears to be teetering on the precipice of a civil war.

This week, Trump told a bipartisan group of senators he's anxious to cut a deal on health care reform.

"I don't want that to happen", Ryan told the CBS program "This Morning" program, referring to Trump's offer to work with Democrats. "I actually think we better get this right because there are a lot of big things coming". "We're trying to honor what we ran on - 100 percent repeal of the Affordable Care Act".

A spokeswoman for the president, asked by NBC News if his tweet meant the president was pushing for primary challenges to members of his own party, said "the tweet speaks for itself".

Members of the caucus helped play a key role in the decision not to bring the GOP health care bill to a vote in the House last week.

In a Thursday morning tweet, Trump called on fellow GOP members to "fight" the Freedom Caucus, the small collection of Republican House members who drove Ryan's predecessor from his job and succeeded in scuttling the president's plan to repeal portions of Obamacare.

In the districts of the bill's foes, Republican voters and activists faulted Ryan, who on Thursday said it's understandable that the president was venting frustration with the tweet.




On Wednesday - about 18 hours before Trump's Twitter attack - senior officials from the White House invited two dozen leaders from conservative groups for a closed-door session to plot a path ahead. "This bill keeps Washington the same, plain and simple".

But as the White House considered flexing its muscle against the Freedom Caucus, the group remained unbowed, with several members immediately hitting back against a president whose agenda has stalled, whose approval ratings are hovering below 40 percent and who has been dogged by the ongoing probe into contacts between his associates and Russian officials.

Jim Jordan of OH said, "I respect the President, but our focus is on the legislation".

"This Russian propaganda on steroids was created to poison the national conversation in America", Sen. Mark Warner said. "The Russians employed thousands of paid Internet trolls and "botnets" to push out disinformation and fake news at a high volume".

Rove said the American Health Care Act, which was pulled before a House vote last Friday, would kill $1 trillion in ObamaCare taxes and subsidies for health care exchanges, stop Medicare expansion and also kill the individual and employer mandates.

Russian Federation expert Clint Watts, of the Foreign Policy Research Institute Program on National Security told the Senate intelligence committee that President Vladimir Putin hasn't stopped his alleged disinformation campaign in America.

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