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This Is Why Reince Priebus Is in Deep Water

White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus
(Reuters photo)

The establishment media would like Americans to believe that after the implosion of the RINOcare bill there is an unbridgeable rift between conservatives and President Trump, but the facts are quite the opposite.

We have reminded President Trump that in his book The Art of the Deal, he offered the following advice about negotiation, "What you should never do is pay too much, even if that means walking away ...".

Yesterday, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said at his daily briefing, President Trump sensed that he was going to end up with a "bad deal" if he kept making changes to the bill to repeal Obamacare, so he walked away.

"That's one of the traits," said Spicer. "It's not just about making deals, it's knowing when to walk away from deals, knowing when there's a bad deal that's the only solution."

The president "recognizes when there's a deal to be made," Spicer said, and "when to walk away."

"I think the president understood that while you can get a deal at the time, that sometimes a bad deal is worse than getting a deal," Spicer told reporters.

"I think he smartly recognized that what was on the table was not in keeping with the vision that he had, and so he decided that this was not the time and that a deal was not on hand."

Exactly.

What about those tweets attacking the Freedom Caucus and conservatives at the Heritage Foundation and the Club for Growth those still looking for a rift may say?

On Sunday, the president tweeted "Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!"

They were sent at the instigation of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

Breitbart's Matthew Boyle reports that, per a White House aide, the Sunday morning tweet in which the president tweeted blame at the House Freedom Caucus for what happened to Ryan's healthcare bill were sent at the urging of Priebus.

But blaming the Freedom Caucus is not even close to the whole story, says Boyle.

In fact, senior House GOP sources in non-Freedom Caucus offices told Breitbart News that the vote—if it would have happened—would have lost more moderates than Freedom Caucus members.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ) and moderate non-Freedom Caucus members Reps. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), Mark Amodei (R-NV), Barbara Comstock (R-VA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Rep. David Young (R-IA), Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) as well as many more moderates were against the legislation publicly. Tuesday group co-chairman Rep. Charlie Dent (R-PA), a leading moderate, came out in public opposition to the legislation too. Rep. Ted Budd (R-NC), a conservative not in the House Freedom Caucus, came out against the bill publicly as did many other conservatives not in the House Freedom Caucus, too.

In fact, several senior House GOP aides and House GOP members in both Freedom Caucus and non-Freedom Caucus offices confirmed to Breitbart News that had the bill gone to the House floor for a vote there may have been as many as 100 House Republicans who voted against it. There is no way that the Freedom Caucus comprised the majority of Republicans opposing the bill.

Part of the reason Ryan urged Trump to call off the vote he previously wanted—several House GOP leadership sources close to the Speaker told Breitbart News—is because Ryan did not want the president to know what people like Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) have been saying all along was true: the bill did not have much support inside the Republican conference in the House.

As Matt Boyle pointed out, Sen. Paul even said in an interview with Breitbart News that Speaker Ryan was deliberately misleading the president on this front. A floor vote would have demonstrated that fact, since more moderates—again, as many as 100 Republicans were prepared to vote against the bill—would have voted against it than House Freedom Caucus members.

Nevertheless, Priebus, during an interview with FOX News' Chris Wallace, said Trump "hit the bull's-eye" with the tweet he urged the president to send out despite its inaccuracy.

Spicer's refusal to reiterate and support Priebus' claim was a clear contradiction of the White House Chief of Staff and of Speaker Paul Ryan's attempts to blame conservatives for the implosion of his bill.

You probably won't see much, if any, coverage of Sean Spicer's comments about walking away from the RINOcare deal in the establishment media—they go against the establishment narrative about the rift between President Trump and House conservatives—his most reliable pre-election allies.

But make no mistake, those comments were a very important piece of trail craft that tells us Priebus' influence is waning and that the RINOcare disaster has shown just how out of his depth the White House Chief of Staff is, given that his primary qualification for the job was his long home-state relationship with Speaker Paul Ryan.

George Rasley is editor of Richard Viguerie's ConservativeHQ.com. A veteran of over 300 political campaigns, he served on the staff of Vice President Dan Quayle and as spokesman for now-Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Mac Thornberry. He has served as a staff member or consultant to some of America's most-recognized conservative political figures. He is a member of American MENSA and studied international relations at Worcester College, Oxford.

This article was originally published at ConservativeHQ.com. Used with permission.


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