01:15 - Source: CNN
Trump admits he called GOP health bill 'mean'

Story highlights

"Well, he actually used my term, 'mean.' That was my term," Trump said of Obama.

Obama took to Facebook on Thursday to speak out against the Senate bill, calling it 'mean.'

Washington CNN  — 

President Donald Trump accused former President Barack Obama of stealing his terminology when Obama said last week that there was a ‘fundamental meanness’ at the core of the Republican health care bill.

During an interview on “Fox and Friends” Sunday morning, Trump was asked about Obama’s Facebook post condemning the Republican health care plan, and the President responded by saying Obama used the descriptor after he originally did.

“Well he 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.”

When White House press secretary Sean Spicer was asked about Trump’s use of the word “mean” in reference to the bill last week, Spicer said he wouldn’t comment on rumors about what the President may or may not have said behind closed doors.

Trump’s statement on “Fox and Friends” makes clear the news reports about his conversation were accurate, and not rumors as Spicer initially described them.

Obama took to Facebook on Thursday to speak out against the Senate bill, which dismantles one of the former President’s key policy successes— the passage of the Affordable Care Act, also referred to as Obamacare.

“Simply put, if there’s a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family – this bill will do you harm,” Obama wrote. “And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.”

On Tuesday, Trump told Republican senators who joined him for lunch at the White House the House-passed health care reform bill he celebrated earlier this year was “mean,” a source told CNN.

Trump told the lawmakers that the House bill didn’t go far enough in protecting individuals in the marketplace and has used that as his rationale in calling for the Senate to “add more money” to the bill.

But the comment contradicted the celebratory Rose Garden ceremony Trump held last month after the House passed the bill, which the President defended at the time as “incredibly well-crafted.”

After the Senate health care bill was released Thursday, Trump praised it, although he acknowledged that changes likely were coming.

“It’s going to be very good,” Trump said at the White House. “A little negotiation, but it’s going to be very good.”