Although the Trump administration publicly says it’s backing the House bill to replace Obamacare, in private meetings, senior aides have criticized the way Speaker Paul Ryan has dealt with the proposal, calling it a “botched rollout” and expressing frustration about the lack of coalition building beforehand, three sources involved in the conversations told BuzzFeed News.
As Trump courts conservative lawmakers and outside groups, the president and his top aides have tried to put some distance between the White House and House GOP leadership, playing “good cop,” as one source described it, in trying get more support for the proposal. With passage of the bill in Congress looking increasingly difficult, aides are focused on showing that they are open to negotiation — even though Ryan has resisted making major changes — and are already pointing fingers.
A White House spokesperson neither confirmed nor denied that aides had criticized House leadership in meetings. “The President and his administration are working with Congress to repeal the disastrous Obamacare law and replace it with smart reforms in a variety of ways,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “This includes many different meetings, such as the several that have taken place at the White House, a robust schedule of interviews with regional media, working alongside House and Senate leadership, and continued and aggressive outreach to various coalitions.”