WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump says health care will be a focus of his re-election campaign and that his administration will release its plan to replace Obamacare in a couple of months
“We already have the concept of the plan, but it'll be less expensive than Obamacare by a lot,” Trump said in a wide-ranging television interview that aired Sunday night on ABC News' 20/20. “And it'll be much better health care.”
Trump, who will formally kick off his re-election campaign in Orlando, Fla., on Tuesday, offered no details of his health care plan, but suggested he was in favor of continuing insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
In April, Trump suggested he would not push for a vote in Congress to replace Obamacare until after the 2020 elections. But in the TV interview, he told interviewer George Stephanopoulos that his administration would definitely unveil its Obamacare replacement plan before the election.
Asked what his pitch to voters would be next year, Trump said he also would emphasize safety, security and the economy.
During the hour-long program, portions of which were released last week, Trump touched on a number of other topics:
—Trump said he uses Twitter to get out his message and bypass what he calls “a very unfair press.”
“If I don't use social media, I do not get the word out,” he said.
Told that even some of his supporters wish he’d cut back on his tweets, Trump said, “I have some people that do say that.” But other people “would be very unhappy if I ever stopped,” he said.
—Trump claimed that no other president has been treated as badly by the press as he has. Not even Abraham Lincoln.
“Abraham Lincoln was treated supposedly very badly, but nobody's been treated badly like me,” he said.
—Trump insisted he never planned to fire special counsel Robert Mueller and that Richard Nixon was part of the reason.
Mueller concluded in his report on Russian interference in the 2016 election that Trump had ordered White House counsel Don McGahn to fire Mueller but that McGhan had refused. But Trump said he wasn't going to fire Mueller.
"You know why? Because I watched Richard Nixon go around firing everybody, and that didn't work out too well,” he said.
He apparently was referring to Nixon’s so-called “Saturday night massacre,” which happened on October 20, 1973.
Nixon ordered Attorney General Elliot Richardson to fire independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox. When Richardson refused and resigned, Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus to fire Cox. Ruckelshaus refused and also resigned. Nixon then told Solicitor General Robert Bork to fire Cox, who did as Nixon asked.
Regardless, the chain of events was highly damaging to Nixon.
—Trump suggested former President Barack Obama knew about what he said was an effort in the FBI to undermine his presidential campaign.
Asked if Obama was behind that effort, Trump hedged. But, “I would say that he certainly must have known about it because it went very high up in the chain.”