Donald Trump made another gaffe yesterday as he renewed his attacks on Barack Obama by accusing him of “another terrible decision” over releasing prisoners from Guantanamo Bay.
The US president said 122 “vicious” Guantanamo inmates had returned to the battlefield, “released by the Obama administration”.
In fact, only nine of the 122 were released under Mr Obama’s administration, according to the September report by the director of national intelligence. The vast majority were in fact released by George W Bush.
In a series of Twitter messages, often citing Fox News, Mr Trump also defended his six-week-old administration and claimed Russia “ran over” Mr Obama for eight years.
“Don’t let the FAKE NEWS tell you that there is big infighting in the Trump Admin. We are getting along great, and getting major things done!” he wrote.
He also expressed his support for Republican plans to repeal and redesign the ObamaCare health system.
Republicans intend to replace federal insurance subsidies with a new form of individual tax credits and give money to individual states to help them shape their own policies.
Fines for not having insurance will be dropped, but insurers can charge a 30pc premium on people who let coverage lapse.
Two of the most popular aspects of ObamaCare – allowing young adults to stay on their parents’ health plans until the age of 26 and forbidding insurers to deny coverage or charge more to people with long term, previously diagnosed medical problems – remain.
Democrats said there was no detail on how the scheme would be paid for and claimed it would harm poorer Americans.
“Trumpcare doesn’t replace the Affordable Care Act, it forces millions of Americans to pay more for less care,” said Chuck Schumer, the Democrat leader of the senate. Many Republicans also expressed concerns. With no Democrats expected to vote to pass the bill and four Republican seats vacant, Republicans can afford to lose no more than 21 members of their own party.
Rand Paul, the Kentucky senator, described it as “ObamaCare Light”, saying it did not go far enough.
The Heritage Group, a conservative think-tank, also described it as “flawed”, and the Freedom Caucus, a group of around 30 hardliners in the House who criticised earlier versions of the bill, met to discuss the new form and to consider presenting a list of demands to Republican leaders.
Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, brushed off a suggestion that it could lead to less coverage for low-income Americans.
“Americans have choices, and they have got to make a choice,” he said. “So maybe rather than getting that iPhone they just love, maybe they should invest in their own healthcare.
Washington is in need of fainting couches. On Saturday, US President Donald Trump tweeted that his predecessor, Barack Obama, ordered a wiretap on him before the election. Legislators and pundits are horrified. The swamp is stunned.
Anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks has published what it says is a secret stash of hacking tools used by the CIA and Britain’s MI5 to turn ordinary citizens’ phones, tablets and even TVs into bugging devices to record conversations and even take photos.