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J. Scott Applewhite / AP

President Trump is meeting with conservative group leaders this afternoon, and Office of Management and Budget director Mick Mulvaney has invited Freedom Caucus members to go bowling next week. But the message from the conservatives is clear: It's going to take more than schmoozing to change their minds on the Obamacare replacement plan the House Republican leadership wants. They want big, substantive changes — enough to make it a fundamentally different bill.

What Trump is doing: He's bringing in leaders of some of the most powerful outside groups that have been agitating against the bill, including Americans for Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, Heritage Action, and Club for Growth. In the meantime, Mulvaney has been getting more involved, showing up at last night's Freedom Caucus meeting and making clear that the bill is open to substantial changes, according to a Freedom Caucus aide.

What the Freedom Caucus wants: The problem is that the group wants more than just tweaks around the edges of the current bill. The conservatives want to get rid of the refundable tax credit, which they believe will be used by millions more people than the Obamacare tax credits. They also want to end the Medicaid expansion, not let the states that already expanded Medicaid keep getting extra money. And they want more in the bill that would explicitly reduce health care costs. "It's not going to look anything like what the leadership wants," said the Freedom Caucus aide.

This can't be fixed with schmoozing: Sources familiar with the interactions say that Paul Teller — the man picked to reach out to House conservatives — is trusted by the Freedom Caucus in a way that they don't trust other members of the administration. Teller understands the caucus' dynamics and he's doing a combination of gentle pushing and listening, carrying back changes to the administration. But a Freedom Caucus source said that there's nothing Teller can say or do. The changes need to be major.

Yes, but: An administration official said that while the conservatives have to be able to tell their constituents that they got some changes, "I'm not so sure the changes will be so major."

Go deeper

18 mins ago - World

U.S: Nord Stream 2 "will not move forward" if Russia invades Ukraine

U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price during a press briefing at the State Department in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday. Photo: Kevin Lamarque/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. will make sure the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany won't go ahead if Russian troops invade Ukraine, State Department spokesperson Ned Price told NPR on Wednesday.

Why it matters: Germany's ambassador to the U.S. appeared to support Price's strong rhetoric on the strategically significant pipeline that would circumvent Ukrainian transit infrastructure and deliver Russian gas directly to Germany, eliminating one of the last deterrents Ukraine has against an invasion, per Axios' Zachary Basu.

Scoop: Stephanie Ruhle to replace Brian Williams on MSNBC

Photo: Nathan Congleton/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images

MSNBC will soon announce plans to move morning anchor Stephanie Ruhle to the 11 pm ET hour that Brian Williams turned into an elite destination, two sources familiar with the move tell Axios.

Details: The 9 am ET hour, currently hosted by Ruhle, will become part of MSNBC's flagship morning show, "Morning Joe," which currently runs from 6 am to 9 am ET.

Oath Keepers leader denied bail on Capitol riot sedition charge

Oath Keepers co-founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes. Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

A federal judge ordered Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes to remain jailed Wednesday until trial on charges stemming from the Capitol riot.

Why it matters: The judge said the most prominent far-right figure charged in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection had access to weapons and his alleged "continued advocacy for violence against the federal government" gave credence to prosecutors' view that, if released, Rhodes could endanger others.