No end to ten­sions be­tween Trump, Free­dom Cau­cus.

The Washington Times Daily - - FRONT PAGE - BY BRAD­FORD RICHARD­SON

In the lat­est sign that Pres­i­dent Trump’s feud with the House Free­dom Cau­cus isn’t abat­ing, Rep. Jim Jor­dan down­played Mr. Trump’s threats to aid pri­mary chal­lenges against mem­bers of the Cau­cus on Sun­day.

“Com­pe­ti­tion is fine,” Mr. Jor­dan said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “I’ve never shied away from com­pe­ti­tion. If that’s what hap­pens, that’s what hap­pens.”

Mr. Trump blamed the 32-mem­ber con­ser­va­tive cau­cus for the demise of the Amer­i­can Health Care Act, which Repub­li­can lead­er­ship with­drew last month with­out a vote amid strong bi­par­ti­san op­po­si­tion.

“The Free­dom Cau­cus will hurt the en­tire Repub­li­can agenda if they don’t get on the team, & fast,” Mr. Trump tweeted Thurs­day. “We must fight them, & Dems, in 2018!”

In an­other tweet Thurs­day, the pres­i­dent sin­gled out for crit­i­cism Mr. Jor­dan, Rep. Justin Amash of Michi­gan and Free­dom Cau­cus Chair­man Mark Mead­ows of North Carolina.

White House so­cial me­dia di­rec­tor Dan Scavino Jr. piled on, urg­ing Trump sup­port­ers in a tweet Satur­day to oust Mr. Amash from his seat dur­ing the pri­mary elec­tion in 2018.

Ac­cord­ing to Mr. Scavino’s tweet, Mr. Trump “is bring­ing auto plants & jobs back to Michi­gan” and Mr. Amash “is a big li­a­bil­ity. #TrumpTrain, de­feat him in pri­mary.”

Mr. Amash replied by quot­ing the ad­viser’s tweet and then he added: “Trump ad­min & Es­tab­lish­ment have merged into #Trump­stab­lish­ment. Same old agenda: At­tack con­ser­va­tives, lib­er­tar­i­ans & in­de­pen­dent thinkers.”

Mr. Jor­dan said he’s more con­cerned with re­peal­ing Oba­macare than the threat of a pri­mary.

“Justin Amash is a good friend and one of the most prin­ci­pled mem­bers of Congress,” Mr. Jor­dan said. “And, frankly, if he is pri­maried, I’m go­ing to do every­thing I can to help him. But what con­cerns me more than this threat of pri­maries is keep­ing our word with the Amer­i­can peo­ple.”

The Ohio Repub­li­can at­trib­uted the fail­ure of the health care bill to a flawed roll out.

“Maybe in­stead of hid­ing the bill away, rolling it out four weeks ago, having hear­ings where there are no wit­nesses who ac­tu­ally tes­tify, where there are no amend­ments al­lowed to be of­fered, no amend­ments ac­cepted, maybe we need to do the process right,” he said. “And maybe if we do, we’ll de­velop a prod­uct that more than 17 per­cent of the coun­try ac­tu­ally ap­proves of.”

He also mocked House Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s sug­ges­tion that the GOP had al­lowed the “per­fect to be­come the en­emy of the good” by re­ject­ing the health care bill.

“Jake, since when did ‘good’ get de­fined at 17 per­cent ap­proval rat­ing?” Mr. Jor­dan told CNN’s Jake Tap­per. “Come on.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Rep. Jim Jor­dan, Ohio Repub­li­can, a key mem­ber and founder of the con­ser­va­tive Free­dom Cau­cus, has down­played the ten­sions be­tween the GOP group and the White House. Pres­i­dent Trump blames the group for his health-care bill’s demise.

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