Trump hits golf course with Sen. Rand Paul

POTOMAC FALLS, Virginia (AP) — President Donald Trump brought Sen. Rand Paul to his Virginia golf course on Sunday, where the two planned to discuss health care as they hit the fairways.

The outing to Trump National Golf Club came hours after Trump tweeted that: “Talks on Repealing and Replacing ObamaCare are, and have been, going on, and will continue until such time as a deal is hopefully struck.”

White House spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said Trump would be golfing and talking policy, including health care, with Paul and budget director Mick Mulvaney.

Paul, whom Trump vanquished in the 2016 Republican presidential primary, was a critic of the House GOP plan to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law. The collapse of that effort humiliated Trump in the early days of his administration.

Party leaders now hope to produce a new health care bill, but it remains unclear how that will happen, with deep divides among Republicans and little interest in cooperation from Democrats.

Since the health care bill went down, Trump has repeatedly lashed out at members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus who contributed to the defeat.

But speaking on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, a member of the caucus, Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, refuted the attacks, saying “tweets and statements and blame don’t change facts. And the facts remain the same. When you look at the document, when you look at the legislation, it doesn’t repeal Obamacare.”

The Sunday golf outing was not unusual for Trump, who has visited his golf courses in Virginia and Florida repeatedly since taking office. Sometimes these rounds incorporate official business, like when he played with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Florida.

For years, Trump railed against Obama when he was in office for golfing. Candidate Trump said if he won the election he’d probably be too busy to golf and would only play with people with whom he was looking to make deals.

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