Failure is indeed an option

President Donald Trump rarely puts passivity on display. But that’s a stated tactic on health care now that efforts to repeal and replace the current system have collapsed in the Republican-dominated Congress.

“I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll let Obamacare fail,” Trump said Tuesday. “We’re not going to own it. I’m not going to own it.

“I can tell you, the Republicans are not going to own it.”

Blame and promises

Trump blamed Democrats again, leaving open the question of what a market collapse will look like and who in America loses out before Washington takes action.

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The short-term threat is insurance firms withdrawing coverage in different places.

But as before, Trump promised a better system in the future, Newsday’s Emily Ngo reports. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) blamed Democrats and a few Republicans for the breakdown, Newsday’s Tom Brune reports.

‘A dangerous game’

“The president would not be ‘letting Obamacare collapse,’ ” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). “He is actively trying to undermine the heath care system in the country, using millions of Americans as political pawns in cynical game.”

Schumer said uncertainty undermines that system, adding that his side is waiting for the Senate GOP majority to join in a bipartisan effort to improve the Affordable Care Act.

“The president is playing a dangerous game with the health care of this country,” Schumer said, rather than “roll up his sleeves” and work on solutions.

Wiggling on Iran

During the campaign, Trump called the no-nukes for lifted-sanctions deal with Iran a “disaster” and “the worst deal ever negotiated” — even suggesting it could lead to a “nuclear holocaust.”

But on Monday, his administration certified the regime’s compliance with the pact. To hedge the OK, it was announced that Iran was “in default of the spirit” of its terms, and on Tuesday, officials said new sanctions would be added.

Oh yeah, that other chat ...

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In addition to their publicized two-hour meeting, Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke face-to-face for some time on the sidelines of the G-20 summit earlier this month, the White House confirmed to news organizations.

Meet Person No. 8

An American-based employee of a Russian real estate company has been identified as the eighth known participant in the widely publicized June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower.

Ike Kaveladze attended as a representative of developers Emin and Aras Agalarov, it was confirmed by attorney Scott Balber, The Washington Post reported.

Balber said his client would cooperate with special counsel Robert Mueller.

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Kaveladze has drawn a bit of attention from federal officials before.

What else is happening

  • House Speaker Paul Ryan’s GOP majority released a 2018 budget plan that includes major tax cuts offset by politically sensitive spending reductions.
  • Pollsters testing the 2020 field showed Trump trailing former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders and three Democratic senators.
  • Russian-backed separatists proclaimed a new state in Ukraine, complicating cease-fire efforts.
  • Ex-Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is expected to be nominated as U.S. ambassador to Russia, Reuters reports.
  • A federal district judge refused a bid to block the Trump “voter fraud” commission from holding its first meeting Wednesday.