During an appearance on Fox & Friends this morning, Donald Trump repeated the false claim that Republicans “have the votes” to pass the Graham-Cassidy health care bill, however, the legislation can’t pass this week because a senator who is a “yes” vote is in the hospital.
Trump said 2 more times to “Fox & Friends” that health care can’t pass because a senator is in the hospital.
This is a blatant fabrication. pic.twitter.com/vvgRoGUMEL
— Aaron Blake (@AaronBlake) September 28, 2017
In reality, there is no hospitalized senator. As noted by The Washington Post’s Aaron Blake, the claim is “a blatant fabrication.”
Trump first mention of his “hospitalized senator” theory appeared on his Twitter account Wednesday morning.
With one Yes vote in hospital & very positive signs from Alaska and two others (McCain is out), we have the HCare Vote, but not for Friday!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2017
Later in the day, Trump again claimed: “we have a wonderful senator, great, great senator, who is a yes vote, but he’s home recovering from a pretty tough situation.”
The claim was an apparent reference to Sen. Thad Cochran who was at home recuperating from some kind of urological issue.
Cochran responded to Trump’s false claims, writing: “Thanks for the well-wishes. I’m not hospitalized, but am recuperating at home in Mississippi and look forward to returning to work soon.”
Thanks for the well-wishes. I’m not hospitalized, but am recuperating at home in Mississippi and look forward to returning to work soon.
— Senator Thad Cochran (@SenThadCochran) September 27, 2017
According to Cochran’s staff, he is resting in Mississippi because there are no crucial senate votes rather than the senate not holding votes because Cochran is in Mississippi. No less an authority than Bill Cassidy stated flatly on Tuesday that “we don’t have the votes” with John McCain, Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Rand Paul all publicly opposed. Indeed, the real question regarding the whip count seems to be whether or not the bill really has the unanimous support of all the other senators, or if a handful of private opponents are simply laying low and letting those four take the heat.