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Esme Cribb

Esme Cribb is a newswriter for TPM in New York City. She can be found on Twitter @emquiry and reached by email at esme@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Esme

President Donald Trump confirmed in an interview aired Sunday that he called House Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace Obamacare “mean” in a private meeting, and claimed former President Barack Obama copied his one-word phrasing.

“He actually used my term, mean. That was my term. Because I want to see, and I speak from the heart, that’s what I want to see. I want to see a bill with heart,” Trump said in an interview on “Fox and Friends” with Pete Hegseth.

Obama on Thursday said the newly revealed Senate repeal bill is built on “fundamental meanness.”

The Associated Press reported earlier in June that Trump referred to the House-passed bill to repeal Obamacare as “mean” and asked Republican senators to draft a “more generous” proposal.

Trump made those remarks after celebrating the House bill’s passage at an event in the Rose Garden where he praised Republican members of Congress for their work.

President Donald Trump on Sunday morning relitigated the Democratic primaries, which ended more than a year ago, in one of his regular early morning tweets.

Trump claimed Clinton “colluded” with her own party to defeat “Crazy Bernie Sanders,” a moniker he deployed for the first time in May 2016 as the Democratic primary race wound to a close.

“Is she allowed to so collude? Unfair to Bernie!” Trump tweeted.

Clinton became the presumptive Democratic nominee in June 2016, more than a year ago.

President Donald Trump on Thursday night tweeted his support for Senate Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“I am very supportive,” Trump tweeted. “Look forward to making it really special! Remember, ObamaCare is dead.”

Earlier Thursday Trump told reporters that health care was “percolating” and said the bill was “going to be very good” with “a little negotiation.”

Though Trump in 2015 pledged not to cut Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security, the newly released legislation would impose deeper long-term cuts to Medicaid than the House’s version of the proposal.

The AARP, a major seniors group, on Thursday condemned Senate Republicans’ newly released Obamacare repeal bill and urged senators to vote against the legislation.

“We strongly urge the Senate to reject this bill,” AARP Executive Vice President Nancy LeaMond said in a statement. “As we did with all 435 Members of the House of Representatives, AARP will also hold all 100 Senators accountable for their votes on this harmful health care bill.”

As House Republicans floated their version of the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare in March, the AARP announced it would track their votes on the legislation and “communicate the results” to its members.

“This new Senate bill was crafted in secrecy behind closed doors without a single hearing or open debate—and it shows,” LeaMond said.

A so-called working group of 13 Republican senators worked behind closed doors to draft the bill, which they publicly released for the first time on Thursday. Their proposal would eliminate most of Obamacare’s subsidies and impose deeper long-term cuts to Medicaid than the House version of the bill.

LeaMond cited the latter as a major concern.

“The proposed Medicaid cuts would leave millions, including our most vulnerable seniors, at risk of losing the care they need and erode seniors’ ability to live in their homes and communities,” she said. “The Senate bill would hit millions of Americans with higher costs and result in less coverage for them.”

Former President Barack Obama on Thursday condemned the newly revealed Senate bill to repeal and replace his eponymous landmark health care legislation.

“I recognize that repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act has become a core tenet of the Republican Party,” Obama wrote in a lengthy Facebook post. “Still, I hope that our Senators, many of whom I know well, step back and measure what’s really at stake, and consider that the rationale for action, on health care or any other issue, must be something more than simply undoing something that Democrats did.”

He said that Democrats did not work “for more than a year in the public square” to pass Obamacare “for any personal or political gain.” By contrast, a secretive working group of 13 Republican senators deliberated for two and a half months behind closed doors to draft their repeal bill.

“We fought for it because we knew it would save lives, prevent financial misery, and ultimately set this country we love on a better, healthier course,” Obama said. “I still hope that there are enough Republicans in Congress who remember that public service is not about sport or notching a political win.”

He said the purpose of public service is “to make people’s lives better, not worse.”

“But right now, after eight years, the legislation rushed through the House and the Senate without public hearings or debate would do the opposite,” Obama said. “That’s not my opinion, but rather the conclusion of all objective analyses.”

He described Senate Republicans’ proposal as “not a health care bill” but rather “a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America.”

“Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm,” Obama said. “And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.”

The American Hospital Association on Thursday urged Senate Republicans to “go back to the drawing board” on their newly released bill to repeal and replace Obamacare.

“From the onset of this debate, America’s hospitals and health systems have been guided by a set of key principles that would protect coverage for Americans,” Rick Pollack, the AHA’s president and CEO, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, the draft bill under discussion in the Senate moves in the opposite direction.”

The version of the legislation released on Thursday would impose deeper long-term cuts to Medicaid than the House bill and eliminate most of Obamacare’s subsidies. Pollack cited the potential Medicaid cuts as a major concern.

“Medicaid cuts of this magnitude are unsustainable and will increase costs to individuals with private insurance,” he said. “We urge the Senate to go back to the drawing board and develop legislation that continues to provide coverage to all Americans who currently have it.”

Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Thursday said President Donald Trump thinks “it probably was Russia” that hacked the Democratic National Committee’s systems.

Trump on Thursday appeared to dismiss the DNC hack as “all a big Dem HOAX!” in a tweet posted early in the morning.

Responding to a question about Trump’s post during an off-camera, audio-only press briefing, Sanders said, “He thinks that it probably was Russia.”

“The President just called it a ‘Dem hoax,'” Yahoo News reporter Hunter Walker pressed. “Does he believe that members of the intelligence community are colluding with the Democrats or did collude with the Democrats?”

“I believe that the reference in the hoax is about the fact that they’re trying to delegitimize his win in the election process and less about the hack itself,” Sanders said.

She estimated that Trump has “said several times now that he believes that Russia was part of it” but said “some of those same members” of the intelligence community who have pointed the finger at Russia “have said that they don’t think it influenced the election.”

“And I think that’s what a lot of this process is about. It’s about trying to make excuses for why Democrats lost,” Sanders said. “And the President I think has been pretty clear on where he stands with that.”

She said Trump created a voter fraud commission, which launched in May and has thus far failed to materialize, in response to concerns about Russian hacking.

“President Trump has made it clear that we have to protect the integrity of the electoral system,” she said. “That’s one of the reasons he’s a strong advocate for voter ID laws and why he’s also put in place an election integrity commission chaired by the vice president.”

Studies have shown that cases of voter fraud are exceedingly rare, and that voter ID laws adversely affect the turnout of minorities, particularly Latino voters, and disproportionately affect turnout among Democrats.

Democratic senators on Thursday harshly criticized their Republican colleagues’ newly unveiled health care bill, warning that GOPers would “own the consequences” of repealing Obamacare and urging the public to read the proposal and to question their Republican representatives about it.

“I thought it wouldn’t be possible for the Senate Republicans to conjure up a bill even worse than that one. Unfortunately, that is what they have done,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) said in a press conference after the bill was publicly released for the first time. In a speech on the Senate floor minutes after the bill’s release, Schumer had said the Senate bill is “every bit as bad as” the House GOP’s version.

“Surely we can do better than what the Republican health care bill promises,” he told reporters. “Every American should be asking their Republican senators one simple question this weekend — why do the wealthy deserve a tax cut more than we deserve health care?”

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), speaking after Schumer, said Republican senators have “done everything possible to prevent people from seeing” the legislation.

“No hearings, no scrutiny, no public input,” she said.

Murray called the secretive drafting process “truly unprecedented” and said “it’s clear why.”

“Because they did promise to lower health care costs, and this plan will actually raise them, especially for seniors and those with preexisting conditions,” she said.

The drafting process of the so-called working group involved in writing the bill was so secretive that rank-and-file Senate Republicans were just as in the dark about the legislation as their Democratic colleagues until the public release of the bill on Thursday morning. More than one lawmaker expressed frustration about the closed-door process of the 13 Republican senators tasked with drafting the legislation.

Murray urged people to “read the fine print” of the bill.

“The Senate Republican Trumpcare plan is every bit as bad as the version patients and families rejected in the House,” she said. “If Republicans jam through this plan, they will own the consequences.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR) said Republican senators “basically doubled down on everything that the American people rejected the first time around.”

“Senate Republicans are trying to con Americans into thinking that they are fixing problems here when in fact what they’re doing is causing new ones,” he said.

The bill unveiled by Senate Republicans on Thursday would eliminate most of Obamacare’s subsidies and impose deeper long-term cuts to Medicaid than the House version, cutting government assistance for health coverage and leaving states to make up the difference.

Wyden said “what’s clear” is that “Senate Republicans are going to keep telling Americans they’re fixing their health care right up until the second when it gets taken away.”

President Donald Trump on Thursday said Senate Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace Obamacare is “going to be very good.”

Trump mentioned the bill during his prepared remarks at a meeting with CEOs and tech industry leaders, according to a White House pool report.

“We’ve had a thing called health care that is… percolating,” Trump said, before addressing reporters at the event.

“How do you like the health care, folks?” he asked.

“How do you like the health care?” NBC News’ Peter Alexander responded.

“It’s going to be very good,” Trump replied.

Alexander cited White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s assertion on Tuesday that Trump “clearly wants a bill that has heart in it.”

“Does it have enough heart?” Alexander asked.

“A little negotiation,” Trump replied, “but it’s going to be very good.”

Capitol police forcibly removed protesters from the hallway outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) office amid chants of “No cuts to Medicaid!” in the minutes after Senate Republicans released the text of their bill to repeal Obamacare.

MSNBC captured footage of officers picking up and removing two protesters from the hallway as others chanted behind them. Three officers carried each protester down the hallway, one of whom continued to chant as police removed him.

Protesters staged a “die-in” against the bill as Senate Democrats responded to the legislation drafted in secret by a small so-called working group of their Republicans colleagues.

The Senate bill proposes deeper long-term cuts to Medicaid than its House predecessor and largely eliminates Obamacare’s subsidies for people buying insurance on the individual market.

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