Jonathan Swan Mar 7, 2017
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Conservative websites going to war against Trumpcare


Influential right-wing websites are beating the daylights out of the Obamacare replacement plan developed by the House Republican leadership and the Trump administration.

Why this matters: Trump, Ryan and co. were already going to have a hard time selling their plan to right flank of the House and Senate. The last thing they need is a conservative media war against them. You can bet that someone's going to walk into the President's office during the next 24 hours with a print out of the Breitbart stories. It'll be interesting to see whether he stays the course against the backlash.

Breitbart is taking the most aggressive stance against the Obamacare replacement bill, closely followed by the website Conservative Review — which is seen in conservative circles as being close to Ted Cruz.

A sample of today's headlines:

  • "Obamacare 2.0 guts enforcement, gives illegal aliens health care through identity fraud" (Breitbart)
  • "Obamacare-Lite': Conservatives rip Ryan's 'GOP welfare entitlement' and 'keeping taxes in place' (Breitbart)
  • "Rand smash! Sen Paul takes spineless GOP and RINOcare to task" (Conservative Review)
  • "Trump endorses RINOcare. Are we doomed?" (Conservative Review)
  • "RINO-Care: A more insolvent version of Obamacare...Except this time GOP owns it" (Conservative Review)

What about other influential conservative websites? Neither Drudge nor the National Review is playing up healthcare today. The Weekly Standard has measured coverage — "Maybe it's an Amendable Care Act, But 'this is the bill,' Pence says."

Mike Allen 3 hours ago
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A White House olive branch: no plan to fire Mueller

Photo: Jim Watson / AFP / Getty Images

After a weekend at war with the Mueller investigation, the White House is extending an olive branch. Ty Cobb, the White House lawyer handling the probe, plans to issue this statement:

“In response to media speculation and related questions being posed to the Administration, the White House yet again confirms that the President is not considering or discussing the firing of the Special Counsel, Robert Mueller.”

Why it matters: The White House strategy had been to cooperate with Mueller. So this is an effort to turn down the temperature after a weekend of increasingly personal provocations aimed at the special counsel.

Jonathan Swan 5 hours ago
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Trump's trade plan that would blow up the WTO

President Trump announces tariffs on steel and aluminum earlier this month, flanked by Steven Mnuchin, Wilbur Ross, Robert Lighthizer, and Peter Navarro. Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

For months, President Donald Trump has been badgering his economic advisors to give him broad, unilateral authority to raise tariffs — a move that would all but break the World Trade Organization.

His favorite word: “reciprocal.” He’s always complaining to staff about the fact that the U.S. has much lower tariffs on some foreign goods than other countries have on the same American-made goods. The key example is cars: The European Union has a 10 percent tariff on all cars, including those manufactured in America, and China hits all foreign-made cars with 25 percent tariffs. But the U.S. only charges 2.5 percent for foreign cars we import.