One day after he repeatedly lashed out at CNN, on Wednesday President Trump blasted the the NYT in particular, and the broader press in general, for reporting that he is "not totally engaged" on healthcare.
"Some of the Fake News Media likes to say that I am not totally engaged in healthcare," Trump tweeted shortly before 7am. "Wrong, I know the subject well & want victory for U.S."
Some of the Fake News Media likes to say that I am not totally engaged in healthcare. Wrong, I know the subject well & want victory for U.S.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2017
Trump's angry outburst followed an earlier tweet in which the president specifically targeted The New York Times. "The failing @nytimes writes false story after false story about me. They don't even call to verify the facts of a story. A Fake News Joke!"
The failing @nytimes writes false story after false story about me. They don't even call to verify the facts of a story. A Fake News Joke!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2017
Trump's fury appears to have been focused on a Times story published on Tuesday titled "On Senate Health Bill, Trump Falters in the Closer's Role," in which the Gray Lady said that the president was "largely on the sidelines" as the Senate leadership sought to attract votes for its healthcare bill. It added that the president's team's "heavy-handed tactics have been ineffective in the Senate."
As the Hill reports, a Republican senator who supports the Senate GOP's healthcare bill reportedly does not think President Trump has a clear understanding of the plan.
The New York Times reported that a senator left a White House meeting Tuesday with the feeling that the president didn't fully understand some basic parts of the plan, citing an aide who received a detailed readout of the exchange.
The senator felt Trump "seemed especially confused" after a moderate Republican said those who were against the bill would say it appeared to be a "massive tax break for the wealthy," according to The Times. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) after the White House meeting ignored a question regarding Trump’s command of the details of the negotiations and smiled blandly, the newspaper noted.
Trump met with Republican senators just hours after GOP leaders decided on Tuesday to postpone a vote on its healthcare legislation. The huddle came as one GOP strategist with close ties to the White House told The Hill that Trump had not yet fully engaged with the effort to pass a bill in the upper chamber.
Trump said Tuesday he had a "great meeting" with Republican senators, adding that they "really want to get it right."
Trump is likely to be particularly sensitive to healthcare criticism today, one day after the Senate GOP leaders delayed a vote to repeal and replace ObamaCare after it became clear the measure - again - lacked the votes for passage. On Tuesday afternoon, Trump met with Republican senators at the White House, just hours after the GOP leaders decided to postpone the vote on the healthcare legislation. It was not immediately clear if Trump had managed to change any holdouts' opinions on the vote.