* Jennifer Haberkorn and Paul Demko report that Donald Trump said things about the repeal of the Affordable Care Act today:
Donald Trump on Wednesday called for a quick and nearly simultaneous repeal and replacement of Obamacare — a task that’s technically almost impossible.
Republican leadership aides were quick to say that they’re all on the same page, even though they had earlier planned for a swift vote on repeal (although delayed until sometime in the future) and then an extended debate over the replacement.
But a quick repeal and replace of Obamacare on the scale the president-elect outlined is complex and arduous — and politically rife for accusations that Republicans are recklessly repealing a law with scant time for debate.
If you actually read what Trump said, it’s apparent that he has absolutely no understanding of either what Obamacare is, or what Republicans intend to replace it with, for whatever that’s worth.
* Ed O’Keefe and Anne Gearan report that Rex Tillerson got a bipartisan coal-raking at his confirmation hearings today:
Secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson called U.S. intelligence findings of Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election “troubling” Wednesday but said he has not yet seen classified information about allegations that Russia intended to help President-elect Donald Trump.
Sharp inquiries by senators in both parties about Tillerson’s ties to Russia signaled that Democrats and Republicans are still skeptical about whether the longtime oil executive is capable of serving as the nation’s top diplomat alongside a president with no government experience, particularly at a time of increasingly strained relations between the United States and Russia.
Careful there, Rex — you almost said something mean about Vladimir Putin, and we know that he’s the one person no one in this administration is allowed to criticize.
“It’s important that the United States maintains its seat at the table about how to address the threat of climate change, which does require a global response. No one country is going to solve this on its own.”
That’s good to hear. Tillerson accepts climate science and has praised the Paris accord, and as Secretary of State, he’d be well positioned to advise Trump on the international diplomatic fallout of pulling out of the deal. So we’ll see. — gs
* James Downie says that now that we know what the FBI was investigating about connections between the Trump campaign and Russian intelligence, it’s even more appalling that James Comey went public with an investigation of Hillary Clinton’s emails.
* Sean McElwee, Matt McDermott, and Will Jordan offer data showing that James Comey did indeed swing the election to Trump.
* Marianne Levine reports that the ex-wife of Andrew Puzder, whom Trump has nominated to be secretary of labor, went on “Oprah” in disguise and detailed allegations of physical abuse she suffered at his hands.
* Harold Pollack and Timothy Jost offer seven questions Republicans must answer about their ACA replacement plan.
* Matt Yglesias says that this would be a good time for Democrats to unveil their own plan to make improvements to the ACA.
* And John Montgomery tries to determine what kinds of psychological satisfaction Trump gets from bullying people.