Trump, on Twitter Rampage, Threatens Republican Group

The president promised to “fight” the Freedom Caucus—and alter libel laws.

Carlos Barria/Reuters/ZUMA

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President Donald Trump took a swipe at the House Freedom Caucus on Thursday, threatening on Twitter to “fight” the hard-line conservative Republican group if its members fail to get in line with his agenda.

The unusual move to target lawmakers in his own party comes less than a week after the failure of a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Freedom Caucus members had petitioned the president to make deeper cuts to Obamacare. That prospect alarmed more moderate Republicans who were already wavering in their support for the legislation, and the bill was pulled from consideration.

After attacking the House Freedom Caucus, Trump turned his aim to one of his favorite Twitter targets, blasting the New York Times and suggesting libel laws be changed to make it easier to sue the paper for coverage he has routinely deemed unfair.

Trump initially blamed Democrats for the health care bill’s failure. He also encouraged his supporters to watch a Fox News segment that urged House Speaker Paul Ryan to resign amid the fallout.

On Thursday, Ryan said that Trump called him to apologize, claiming he “had no idea” that the segment would be critical of Ryan.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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