TPM News

WASHINGTON (AP) — Flailing and divided, congressional Republicans are hoping for clarity from President Donald Trump on key issues like health care when he delivers his first speech to a joint meeting of Congress. It comes as Republicans are discovering, a month into Trump's administration, how difficult it will be to make good on their many promises now that they control Washington in full.

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Former President George W. Bush is a little disheartened by the state of the country under President Donald Trump, but the former President said he is still "optimistic" about the future of the United States.

"I’m optimistic about where we’ll end up. I mean, yes, I don’t like the racism, I don’t like the name-calling, and I don’t like the people feeling alienated. Nobody likes that," Bush told People Magazine about the state of the U.S. in an interview published late Monday. "On the other hand, we’ve been through these periods before and we’ve always had a way to come out of it. I’m more optimistic than some.”

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In an interview that aired Tuesday morning on "Fox and Friends," President Donald Trump said that he was fine with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer's decision to look through his staffers' phones, but Trump said he would not have taken the same approach.

"Sean Spicer is a fine human being. He's a fine person. I would have done it differently. I would have gone one-on-one with different people," Trump said when asked about a report that Spicer had communications staffers turn over their devices for a "phone check" in an attempt to find leakers.

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During an interview taped Monday for "Fox and Friends," President Donald Trump said that former President Barack Obama is behind protests at Republican town halls and that Obama loyalists are also behind leaks from the Trump administration.

Fox News' Brian Kilmeade suggested to Trump that Obama's organization, perhaps a reference to Organizing For Action, was behind the raucous crowds at town halls held by Republican lawmakers and asked Trump if he felt Obama was behind the protests.

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Alice Ollstein contributed reporting.

The movement to repeal the Affordable Care Act appears to be approaching a do-or-die moment for Republicans, as the clock ticks on dismantling Obamacare in time to also tackle tax reform before Congress's summer recess. Many of the differences that dogged Republicans about repealing and replacing the law remain. But GOP lawmakers, particularly in the House, seem intent on moving forward, if a leaked a draft of legislation is of any judge.

Congressional leaders are signaling a “now or never” strategy that will dare the Republicans to stand in their way, regardless of their disagreements over the details of repealing the Affordable Care Act, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

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