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Roger Stone: 'I have had no contacts or collusions with the Russians'

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Given the timing, Roger Stone said, he would've needed "a time machine in order to collude.” | Getty

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Freedom Caucus chair: GOP must 'come together'

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Mark Meadows dismissed the notion that congressional Republicans had been given a final blow on health care talks, painting the battle as far from over. | AP Photo

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Sanders to offer single-payer health care plan

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Bernie Sanders said such a plan could help to deliver on President Donald Trump's pursuit of lowering prescription drug prices, | AP Photo

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Republicans turn fire on each other

White House officials insisted Sunday that the relationship between President Donald Trump and Speaker Paul Ryan is strong, even as Republican infighting over the failure to repeal Obamacare exploded into the open over the weekend.

After Trump urged his Twitter followers Saturday to watch Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro — who opened her show last night with six-minute plea for Speaker Paul Ryan to step down — Washington was abuzz with speculation about a Trump-Ryan rift. Trump-boosting Breitbart News, the former publication of the president’s chief strategist Steve Bannon, used the sequence of events to highlight the apparent discord.

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But White House officials later emphasized that Trump was not endorsing Ryan’s ouster.

“He is a fan of her show plain and simple,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said in an email, explaining Trump’s tweet.

White House officials say Trump does not support Pirro's comments on Ryan, but was merely trying to show support for the Fox host, who has long backed Trump.

"Nothing was meant by it," said a White House aide.

Trump and Ryan spoke for an hour Saturday, and other GOP insiders said Trump has praised Ryan in private conversations since the speaker was forced to pull the American Health Care Act on Friday amid eroding support from hardline conservatives and House moderates. Trump’s top aides also took to the Sunday shows to underscore the strong relationship between the president and Ryan.

“He doesn't blame Paul Ryan,” chief of staff Reince Priebus said on “Fox News Sunday.” “He thought Paul Ryan worked really hard, enjoys his relationship with Paul Ryan, thinks that Paul Ryan is a great speaker of the House. None of that has changed.”

Asked about Trump’s call to watch Pirro’s show on Saturday, Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney told NBC’s Chuck Todd, “I have spent more time within the last week with the president of the United States than I ever thought I would. … Never once have I seen him blame Paul Ryan. So I'm not sure what that was about last night.”

The uneasy alliance between Trump and Ryan did little to hide the increasingly acrimonious recriminations among Republicans. It’s a preview of the challenge Trump and Ryan will face as they nurse their wounds and attempt to regroup for what could be an even more divisive fight over tax reform,

Trump began Sunday with a tweet ripping the hardline conservative House Freedom Caucus and their outside backers, the group of three-dozen Republicans and like-minded groups that banded together to help block the health care bill.

“Democrats are smiling in D.C. that the Freedom Caucus, with the help of Club For Growth and Heritage, have saved Planned Parenthood & Ocare!” he tweeted.

But Trump’s ire, apparently, wasn’t limited to the conservative rebels. Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Pa.) — leader of the moderate Tuesday Group — confirmed that Trump upbraided him during a recent meeting at the White House and accused him of “destroying” the

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Schumer: 'You cannot run the presidency like you run a real estate deal'

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"You can't threaten and intimidate and say I'll walk away. It's more complicated," Chuck Schumer said. | AP Photo

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