On Friday morning, he awoke to fling a new wrench into already tense negotiations. "If Republican Senators are unable to pass what they are working on now," Trump tweeted, "they should immediately REPEAL, and then REPLACE at a later date!"
The message represented yet another twist in the long series of contradictions that mark his ever-shifting prescription for health care.
It wasn't the first time Trump very clearly rejected the notion of any health care layover.
But the most glaring difference between what Trump touted on the trail and what the Senate bill might deliver involves Medicaid, a program he pledged to protect, along with Medicare and Social Security, while warning that other Republican candidates might not.
The CBO, a nonpartisan agency, has estimated that the House and Senate bills would, respectively, lead to 23 and 22 million people losing insurance -- in comparison to the numbers expected under current law -- over the next ten years.
"We're going to have insurance for everybody," he told reporters. "There was a philosophy in some circles that if you can't pay for it, you don't get it. That's not going to happen with us."
Except that, according to the plans Republicans are now pushing, it will. Trump must sense this as he has twice now referred to the GOP health care plan as "mean." When former President Barack Obama derided what he called its "fundamental meanness" in a Facebook post, Trump actually responded by reminding Fox News that he used the language first.
"Well, (Obama) actually used my term, 'mean.' That was my term," Trump said. "Because I want to see -- and I speak from the heart -- that's what I want to see, I want to see a bill with heart."
Senate Republicans, however, facing the prospect of an unpopular vote much like their House colleagues nearly two months ago, have revolted against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's proposal. All of which set the stage for Trump's endorsement Friday of repealing