By Kyle Balluck and Rebecca Savransky - 03-26-17 08:30 AM EDT
President Trump early Sunday said the conservative House Freedom Caucus, along with the Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America, "saved" Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare.
"Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!" Trump tweeted.
Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 26, 2017
His comments come after Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Friday pulled the GOP healthcare bill amid dwindling support among Republicans.
The move, which marked the president's first legislative defeat, comes after seven years of rhetoric from Republicans who campaigned on repealing and replacing former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare legislation.
After the bill was pulled, the president blamed Democrats for not backing the GOP healthcare proposal and signaled he would move on to other legislative priorities.
The president met with members of the Freedom Caucus last week in his push to whip up votes for the GOP healthcare bill. But House conservatives wanted the bill to go further in taking apart ObamaCare and were hoping for specific policy concessions from Trump.
Before the bill was pulled, most Freedom Caucus members indicated they wouldn't back the bill, as did a number of centrist Republicans.
In a tweet on Friday, Trump also pointed to the Freedom Caucus, arguing that a vote against the GOP healthcare bill would allow Planned Parenthood to continue to get funding.
"The irony is that the Freedom Caucus, which is very pro-life and against Planned Parenthood, allows P.P. to continue if they stop this plan!" Trump tweeted.
Heritage Action said last Tuesday that it would negatively score votes in favor of the House's ObamaCare repeal bill.
The conservative Club for Growth, meantime, launched an ad campaign urging Republican lawmakers to oppose the ObamaCare replacement bill ahead of a floor vote in the House.
--This report was updated at 8:41 a.m.