Trump to GOP Sen. Heller: ‘He Wants to Remain Senator, Doesn’t He?’

During a lunch at the White House with GOP senators, President Trump tossed a not-so-veiled threat at Sen. Dean Heller, who was famously a holdout on voting for the president’s repeal-and-replace efforts. The president lamented several Republicans turning against the Senate bill, effectively killing it this week: “The other night I was surprised when I heard a couple of my friends—my friends, they really were and are. They might not be very much longer, but that’s okay. I think I have to get them back,” he said to laughter in the room, at one point turning to Heller to say, “[You were] the one we were worried about. You weren’t there. You’re going to be.” And then Trump added: “He wants to remain a senator, doesn’t he?” The president continued, as Heller’s smile turned uncomfortable: “I think the people of your state—which I know very well—I think they’re going to appreciate what you hopefully will do.” The president concluded with what can effectively be seen as a word of warning to Republican holdouts: “Any senator who votes against starting debate is really telling America that you’re fine with Obamacare.”