TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -"I said from the beginning, 'Let Obamacare implode'...I turned out to be right," Trump said Friday at a gathering for law enforcement officers in Long Island, New York. "Let Obamacare implode."
Experts say the GOP plan to replace Obamacare would leave 22 million more Americans uninsured over 10 years.
Trump made the remarks less than a day after the Republican-controlled Senate failed to pass legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act, another humiliating defeat for Trump.
For months, Trump has kept skeptical Republicans in line with an implicit threat that he would turn his loyal supporters against them. But there are growing signs that those threats from a president with a sub-40 percent approval rating are losing potency.
Among some establishment Republicans, there are signs that patience with Trump is wearing thin.
Three Republican senators — John McCain, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski — joined Democrats in voting against the healthcare repeal bill.
McCain, who just last week was diagnosed with an aggressive brain cancer, unexpectedly pointed his right index finger in a downward motion to register a no vote, ruining the Republican Party's seven-year effort to repeal former President Barack Obama's healthcare law.
"Boy, oh, boy, they’ve been working on that one for seven years. Can you believe that?" Trump said at the police gathering in Long Island. Still, he promised, "We'll get it done."
Trump's remarks on Friday were centered around law enforcement efforts to "dismantle, decimate, and eradicate" the MS-13 gang, which has terrorized communities on Long Island and in other parts of the US.
MS-13 is an international criminal gang that originated in Los Angeles, California, in the 1980s. Most members of the group, which has spread to Canada, Mexico, and Central America, are Hispanic immigrants from Central America.
Trump said that police departments should be tougher on undocumented immigrants who have committed violent crimes.
“When you see these towns, and you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon — you just see ’em thrown in, rough. I said, ‘Please don’t be too nice,’ ” Trump told the audience that included federal and law enforcement personnel from the New York-New Jersey area.