President Trump told his health secretary yesterday that he regrets getting involved in the administration's policy on vaping, two sources familiar with the conversation tell Axios' Jonathan Swan and Caitlin Owens.
- "I should never have done that f*cking vaping thing," Trump said during an impromptu call on speakerphone in an Oval Office meeting.
Why it matters: The administration's ban on flavored vapes is one of its most prominent health policy decisions, but trying to find a compromise between public health groups and the pro-vaping community caused massive political headaches.
Behind the scenes: Trump decided to call HHS Secretary Alex Azar during a campaign meeting, while discussing health care with his political team.
- He sometimes does that with cabinet secretaries, in an impromptu fashion, during meetings when their issues come up.
- Azar got defensive after Trump expressed regret for the vaping policy, per a source familiar.
- Both sources familiar with the conversation said Trump wasn't expressing regret for the specific vaping policy outcome, but rather for personally wading into vaping and e-cigarette policy in the first place rather than leaving it up to the Food and Drug Administration.