President Trump thought he could use his skills as a salesman to bridge a divide in the Republican Party over the bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. There was a problem, though. As the FRONTLINE documentary “Trump’s Takeover” reports, the president didn’t seem to understand or care about the details of the bill he was selling.
“The president was not particularly engaged in the policy details. That was pretty apparent,” Rep. Charlie Dent (R-Penn.) tells FRONTLINE. “The president seemed to defer to Congress, largely, and basically, ‘Whatever you guys pass, I’ll sign.’”
This scene is an excerpt from the new documentary, “Trump’s Takeover,” which goes inside President Trump’s high-stakes battle for control of the Republican Party.
It examines how the president, who vowed to defeat the Washington establishment, has worked to remake the party in his own image — counter-punching when criticized, and publicly attacking Republicans who defy him.
From Trump’s attacks on party leaders on Twitter after the repeal-and-replace bill died, to a split over what many in the party said was the president’s inadequate response to deadly violence at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, to when Congress ultimately delivered a major legislative victory for Trump with the passage of tax reform, the documentary traces the president’s takeover of the party, from the perspective of Republican lawmakers.
“Trump’s Takeover” premieres Tues., April 10 at 10/9c on PBS & online: https://to.pbs.org/2GNBtMc
FRONTLINE is streaming more than 200 documentaries online, for free, here: http://to.pbs.org/hxRvQP
Funding for FRONTLINE is provided through the support of PBS viewers and by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Major funding for FRONTLINE is provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Additional funding is provided by the Abrams Foundation, the Park Foundation, The John and Helen Glessner Family Trust, and the FRONTLINE Journalism Fund with major support from Jon and Jo Ann Hagler on behalf of the Jon L. Hagler Foundation.