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US President Donald Trump blames Republican radicals for failure of healthcare plan to replace Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act

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US President Donald Trump. VOA

Washington, March 27, 2017: US President Donald Trump on Sunday blamed Republican lawmakers from the ultraconservative Freedom Caucus for the failure of a Republican healthcare plan to replace former President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act, after blaming Democrats for the loss on Friday.

“Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!” EFE news quoted Trump as saying in a tweet.

The Republican leadership pulled the legislation to repeal and replace Obama’s healtcare reform, popularly known as Obamacare, from the US House of Representatives on Friday due to the lack of support within the GOP.

The bill failed to move forward, in part, because of objections of about 30 lawmakers with the Freedom Caucus.

A total of 216 votes were needed to approve the legislation, but the Freedom Caucus opposed the bill because they wanted fewer regulations in it and for people to be able to select what medical care they wanted covered in their healthcare insurance plans.

Caucus leader Mark Meadows said on Sunday that the bill’s failure was not the end of the discussion of healthcare reform.

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office after the withdrawal of the bill on Friday, Trump had sought to deflect blame onto the Democrats.

“We were very close, it was a very tight margin. We had no Democrat support, no votes from the Democrats,” he said. “I think the losers are Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer because now they own Obamacare.”

Obamacare, a law designed to increase the quality of health insurance and make it accessible to citizens with low incomes, has provided medical coverage to more than 20 million people who did not have it before.

Many, if not all of those people would have lost their healthcare coverage under the now-shelved Republican plan.

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White House Condemns Any Link of President Donald Trump to Accused New Zealand Shooter

Trump was widely attacked in the aftermath of a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 when he equated white supremacists with counter-protesters, saying "both sides" were to blame and that there were "fine people" on both sides of the protest.

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In this Jan. 2, 2019, file photo White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington. VOA

The White House on Sunday rejected any attempt to link President Donald Trump to the white supremacist accused of gunning down 50 people at two New Zealand mosques.

“The president is not a white supremacist,” acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told the “Fox News Sunday” show. “I’m not sure how many times we have to say that. Let’s take what happened in New Zealand [Friday] for what it is: a terrible evil tragic act.”

Donald Trump
The statement renewed criticism that Trump has not voiced strong enough condemnation of white nationalists. VOA

Alleged gunman Brenton Harris Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, said in a 74-page manifesto he released shortly before the massacre unfolded at mosques in Christchurch that he viewed Trump as “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose” but did not support his policies.

The statement renewed criticism that Trump has not voiced strong enough condemnation of white nationalists.

Asked Friday after the mosque attacks whether he sees an increase in white nationalism, Trump said, “I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess.” He said he had not seen the manifesto.

Mulvaney said, “I don’t think it’s fair to cast this person as a supporter of Donald Trump any more than it is to look at his eco-terrorist passages in that manifesto and align him with [Democratic House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi or Ms. Ocasio-Cortez,” Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic congresswoman.

“This was a disturbed individual, an evil person,” he said.

Donald Trump
“The president is not a white supremacist,” acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney told the “Fox News Sunday” show. “I’m not sure how many times we have to say that. Let’s take what happened in New Zealand [Friday] for what it is: a terrible evil tragic act.” VOA
Scott Brown, the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand, told CNN that he gave no credence to Tarrant’s comments about Trump in the manifesto, saying the accused gunman “is rotten to the core.” Brown said he hopes Tarrant is convicted “as quickly as he can be” and the key to his prison cell thrown away.

Also Read: Did You Know? IOM States Latin America as World’s Deadliest Route for Migrants

Trump was widely attacked in the aftermath of a deadly white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017 when he equated white supremacists with counter-protesters, saying “both sides” were to blame and that there were “fine people” on both sides of the protest.

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, one of numerous Democrats seeking the party’s presidential nomination to oppose Trump in the 2020 election, said on Twitter after the New Zealand attack, “Time and time again, this president has embraced and emboldened white supremacists and instead of condemning racist terrorists, he covers for them. This isn’t normal or acceptable.” (VOA)